Saturday, February 4

Sports: Cricket: Pakistan thrashes Windies emphatically by 143 runs to mark return of int’l cricket to Karachi

Karachi: Playing their first international in nine years in Karachi on Sunday night here at National Stadium, Pakistan men made it a match to be remembered especially on record books – first managing to score joint highest T20 International score of 203-5 and then bowled out visiting Windies for just 60 to win by a huge margin of 143 runs.

As international cricket returned to the National Stadium it was the home team that got the best of the opening exchanges and they did not look back from there. Having won the toss and elected to bat Pakistan reached the end of the batting PowerPlay at 56/1.

That one wicket to fall inside the opening six overs was Babar Azam who was trapped lbw by Rayad Emrit who was playing in just his second T20 International having made his debut in this format as a 36-year-old in January this year.

It was a new look Windies team that took the field with 20-year-old Keemo Paul taking the new ball on his T20 International debut and Jason Mohammad captaining the side after a number of Windies players opted against travelling to Pakistan.

It was Fakhar Zaman that did most of the damage at the start of the Pakistan innings as he scored 39 from just 24 balls. Just as it looked he would put together a match defining innings he was run out after a mix up with Hussain Talat.

The Windies bowlers struggled to find any real control in the first 15 overs and things weren’t helped by Veerasammy Permaul limping off with a twisted ankle just three balls into his T20 International debut with Marlon Samuels having to finish the over.

Talat impressed on his debut, scoring 41 from 37 balls, before he too was run out after another mix up when he looked for a second run and Sarfraz Ahmed wasn’t interested.

It wasn’t long after Talat departed that Sarfraz was also dismissed. The Pakistan captain went for a big swish over cow corner off Rovman Powell and found Andre Fletcher on the fence who took a simple catch.

After such a strong start it looked like Pakistan might fall away at the death as regular wickets fell. But Shoaib Malik prevented that from happening as he smashed 37 from 14 balls to take his team past 200.

It was always going to be a difficult chase for the Windies, and things fell apart quickly. Chadwick Walton was dismissed in the first over by Mohammad Nawaz and then Mohammad Amir claimed two scalps in the second over to leave the visitors reeling at 8/3.

Things did not improve from there. Denesh Ramdin was out for a five-ball duck when he smacked Hasan Ali’s first ball straight to Nawaz at mid-wicket and Rovman Powell gave a simple caught and bowled chance to Shadab Khan to leave them 27/5.

When Nawaz induced a big shot from Marlon Samuels that was caught at point by Faheem Ashraf the Windies were 33/6 and the lowest ever T20 International score of 39 by the Netherlands in 2014 was in danger.

The Windies managed to get past that lowest ever total thanks to 11 runs from Rayad Emrit, but he was soon gone as well, caught in the deep off the bowling of Malik. That made it 51/7 and it was soon 51/8 when Kesrick Williams was out next ball, caught at slip.

Hussain Talat came into the attack at the end of the Windies innings and claimed his maiden T20I wicket to go with three catches and those 41 runs on a memorable debut.