Wasim celebrates (L) after taking the wicktet of Nicholas Pooran, Mohammad Rizwan prays (M) and Haider celebrates after scoring half-centuries (50 runs) during the first T20 match at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday. AFP
Mohammad Rizwan and Haider Ali struck fiery half centuries as Pakistan thumped West Indies by 63 runs in the first Twenty20 international in Karachi on Monday.
Rizwan smashed a 52-ball 78 with 10 boundaries — his 12th half-century and 11th this year — while Haider scored a career-best 68 to guide the hosts to 200-6 in their 20 overs.
The visitors were never in hunt of the target as they were dismantled by a superior Pakistan bowling attack and folded at 137 in 19 overs.
Fast bowler Mohammad Wasim took career best 4-40 while spinner Shadab Khan grabbed 3-17.
Opener Shai Hope top-scored with 31 but became one of leg-spinner Shadab's two wickets in the same over, Shamarh Brooks being the other for five.
Odean Smith (24), Rovman Powell (23) and Romario Shepherd (21) also had good contributions but never threatened Pakistan.
This becomes Pakistan's 13th win in 19 Twenty20 Internationals against West Indies, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Skipper Babar Azam praised the effort from his batsmen. "Rizwan and Haider played handy knocks and the way Nawaz finished was outstanding," said Azam. "Our spinners bowled well and put them under pressure."
West Indian skipper Nicholas Pooran admitted his bowlers gave extra runs. "I think we gave away 20 runs more in the field and there were a few boundaries off the edges too," said Pooran. "I loved the effort and energy from the guys tonight. We are a young side but it all comes down to execution."
Pakistan were once again anchored by Rizwan who has a phenomenal 2021 in Twenty20 international cricket, having already crossed 1,000 runs in the calendar year.
Mohammad Wasim celebrates after taking the wicket of Oshane Thomas (R) during the first T20 match. AFP
Rizwan and Haider added 105 for the third wicket after skipper Babar Azam fell without scoring and Fakhar Zaman made just 10, with West Indian bowlers getting early success.
It was a rare failure for Azam — ranked number one in T20I cricket — as he edged a sharp turning ball from spinner Akeal Hossein. Zaman top edged Shepherd before Rizwan and Haider rescued Pakistan.
Haider cracked four sixes and six boundaries in his 39-ball knock. Mohammad Nawaz gave the final touches to the innings with a brisk 10-ball 30 not out spices with two sixes and three boundaries. West Indies, hit with three Covid-19 positive tests among their T20I players, brought in Brooks and Devon Thomas from their one-day squad, giving Brooks a debut in the shortest format. The remaining matches are on Tuesday and Thursday, also in Karachi.
West Indies is without three players — left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell and allrounders Roston Chase and Kyle Mayers — who tested positive for the coronavirus in Karachi and are self-isolating for 10 days.
West Indies is also missing regular skipper Kieron Pollard, who was ruled out for the series due to a hamstring injury, while another experienced allrounder Andre Russell is playing the Big Bash League in Australia.
Mohammad Rizwan celebrates after scoring a half-century as his teammate Haider Ali watches. AFP
West Indies, playing their first Twenty20 since the T20 World Cup in the UAE, awarded debuts to fast bowler Dominic Drakes and top order batter Shamarh Brookes.
Pakistan named a full-strength side for the opening game of the three-match series with Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim the three fast bowlers. Vice-captain Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz are the two spin options.
The top order batting lineup features the top two run-getters in T20s this year — Mohammad Rizwan and captain Babar Azam — with hard-hitting batters Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali and Asif Ali forming the strong middle order.
The remaining matches are on Tuesday and Thursday, also in Karachi.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Haider Ali, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf.
West Indies: Brandon King, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Devon Thomas, Nicholas Pooran (captain), Rovman Powell, Odean Smith, Dominic Drakes, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein, Oshane Thomas.
For the home team Mohammad Rizwan top-scored for a second match running with 38 to help Pakistan get to 172-8 before keeping the West Indies down to 163 all out in 20 overs. The win gives Pakistan another series with the last game on Thursday, also in Karachi.
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