PAK v WI: Babar’s ton, Khushdil’s power-show guide Pakistan to victory

MULTAN: Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s record-breaking knock assisted the home side defeat the West Indies by five wickets in the first ODI, here on Wednesday.

Set to chase a commendable 306, the home side got to the total for the loss of five wickets with four balls to spare.

Coming out to chase, Pakistan were off to a similar dismal start to that of the West Indies as Fakhar Zaman fell cheaply after scoring 11 as the home side lost their first wicket for a mere 26.

Pakistan skipper Babar, alongside the left-handed opener Imam-ul-Haq then anchored the run chase with a terrific 103-run partnership for the second wicket.

The pair appeared firm before Imam fell in the 25th over after failing to execute a reverse-sweep against Akeal Hosein. The left-handed opener scored 65 off 71 balls with the help of six boundaries.

Following Imam’s departure, Babar joined hands with the wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan and put on another century-plus partnership as the pair took the hosts to 237 before the skipper fell briefly after reaching his 17th ODI century. Babar remained the top-scorer for his side as he scored 103 off 107 balls, including seven boundaries.

Rizwan, on the other hand, brought up his fifth half-century and kept the scoreboard ticking after Babar’s departure. He, however, remained unable to carry his bat till the end as the right-handed batter perished in the 45th over after scoring 59.

Following this, the hosts appeared to be in danger as the side was losing their way in the run chase. Khushdil Shah’s late power-hitting, however, bolstered the side to clinch the victory as the left-handed batter remained unbeaten with his blistering knock of 41. He faced a mere 23 balls and smashed four sixes.

Following his match-winning knock, Khushdil was adjudged the Player of the Match.


For the West Indies, Alzarri Joseph took two wickets, while Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd, and Hosein struck out a batter each.

West Indies, after opting to bat first, were off to a poor start as Shaheen Shah Afridi struck in the third over to hand Pakistan their first breakthrough as Kyle Mayers departed after scoring just three.

Following this early disaster, the wicket-keeper batter Hope and Shamarh Brooks joined hands to anchor the innings and frustrated the hosts’ bowlers with an astonishing 154-run partnership for the second wicket.

Brooks, who was looking in top-notch, however, lost his way while attempting to slog the ball against Mohammad Nawaz as Shadab Khan’s full-length provided a much-needed breakthrough to the Green Shirts. He scored 70 off 83 balls with the help of seven boundaries.

Hope, on the other hand, stood firm and went on to smash a magnificent century. He anchored the innings with his brilliant knock while the touring side were losing wickets at an alarming pace.

The right-handed batter Hope carried his bat till the 44th over Haris Rauf’s slower delivery castled him. He remained the top-scorer for his side with 127 off 134 balls, laced with 15 boundaries and a six.

Following his departure, the cameos from Rovman Powell and Romario Shepherd accelerated the proceedings and backed the touring side to finish at 305/8 in the allotted 50 overs. Powell scored 32 off while Shepherd made an 18-ball 25.

For Pakistan, Haris led the way with four wickets but was expensive, while Shaheen claimed two for 55. Nawaz and Shadab, on the other hand, made one scalp each.

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