Another big loss
Windies concede series despite improved showing
DARREN BRAVO and Marlon Samuels stroked half-centuries in an improved West Indies performance, but the Caribbean side were still distinctly second best, slumping to a 59-run loss to Pakistan in the second one-day international (ODI) to concede the three-match series here yesterday.
After a woeful performance in last Friday’s first ODI, West Indies displayed more fight this time around, but Pakistan’s target of 338 was always well beyond their reach and they buckled under the burden of a rising required run rate and declined to 278 for seven, to lose their fifth straight game on tour.
Left-hander Bravo top-scored with an attractive 61 off 74 deliveries, while veteran righthander Marlon Samuels struck 57 off 52 balls. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite chipped in with a dogged 39 and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, 34.
At 194 for three in the 38th over, West Indies retained some hope – albeit faint – of overhauling their target, especially with Samuels and Ramdin at the crease and the likes of Carlos Brathwaite and Kieron Pollard still to come. But three wickets tumbled for 37 runs in the space of 29 balls to leave the Windies on 231 for six in the 43rd over and Jason Holder’s unbeaten 31 off 26 balls was only of academic importance at the end.
Earlier, Babar Azam spearheaded Pakistan’s charge with Bravo ... hit top score of 61. his second straight hundred, as the hosts capitalised on a poor bowling effort to pile up 337 for five off their 50 overs – the third-highest ever total in an ODI at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Babar, batting at number three, stroked 123 from 126 deliveries to follow up his 120 in the opening game last Friday at the same venue, while veteran right-hander Shoaib Malik struck 90 off 84 balls and Sarfraz Ahmed, an unbeaten 60 off 47 balls.
Pakistan were in a spot of bother at 40 for two in the fifth over before Babar and Shoaib took the game away from West Indies in a record third-wicket stand of 169.
Babar struck nine fours and a six, while Shoaib was aggressor, smashing three fours and six sixes before perishing in the 34th over.
Seamer Holder finished with two for 51, while debutant fastbowler Alzarri Joseph picked up two for 62.
Samuels .. struck 57 off 52 balls.