Shoaib Malik looked in superfluous touch in the successful run-chase    AFP
Shoaib Malik looked in superfluous touch in the successful run-chase AFP

Pakistan defeated West Indies by 6 wickets in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados. Pakistan chased down the target of 111 in 17.1 overs thanks to responsible batting from Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik. Malik remained unbeaten on 38 off 29 deliveries ensuring Pakistan crossing the victory line with ease. Babar too played a handy knock of 29 off 30 deliveries but was dismissed against the run of play in the closing stage of Pakistan s successful chase. Debutant leg-spinner Shadab Khan was adjudged Man of the Match for his bowling figures of 3 for 7 which stopped the West Indies team to a paltry total of 111 in the first innings. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD, West Indies vs Pakistan, 1st T20I

Pakistan started off on a decent note with openers Kamran Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad scoring runs easily against the West Indies spin attack. After the spin attack could not prove fatal, West Indies skipper Carlos Brathwaite introduced Jason Holder from one end and was rewarded immediately with the wicket of Shehzad (13). Pakistan had put up 25 runs on the board when they lost Shehzad. The hosts capitalised on this situation and bowled some stringent spells. Brathwaite deployed himself along with Holder and bowled wicket-to-wicket not allowing the batsmen to free their arms. Kamran (22) counterattacked Samuel Badree, but the wicketkeeper-batsman threw away his wicket after getting a promising start.

Soon, Mohammad Hafeez (5) too departed giving subtle hints of a possible twist in the tale. But Babar and Shoaib batted sensibly to ensure their team got out of the tough spot. They batted sensibly dealing in singles and avoiding risky shots to keep the scoreboard ticking. It looked as if these two would take their team beyond the required target, but Holder got the wicket of Babar (29). Before this, they both stitched a vital 46 run stand for the 4th wicket ensuring Pakistan won the series opener comfortably by 6 wickets.

Initially, riding on debutant Shadab s excellent bowling figures of 3 for 7 in his spell of 4 overs, Pakistan were successful in stopping the strong West Indies side on 111 in the 20 overs. West Indies skipper Brathwaite s late assault in the ending stage of the first innings ensured the hosts crossing the 100 runs mark which looked distant at one point.

Pakistan have now taken a lead in the four-game T20I series by 1-0 with the second game to be played on March 30 followed by last two games on April 1 and 2.

Brief scores:

West Indies 111 for 8 in 20 overs (Carlos Brathwaite 34*, Chadwick Walton 18; Shadab Hasan 3 for 7, Sohail Tanvir 4 for 21) lost to Pakistan 115 for 4 in 17.1 overs (Shoaib Malik 38*, Babar Azam 29; Jason Holder 2 for 27) by 6 wickets

Man of the Match: Shadab Khan