Billed as the battle between two of the most unpredictable and dangerous teams at the moment, Pakistan and West Indies kick started their tussles during the first of the 3-match T20I series in Dubai. Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and decided to test the temperament of the usually explosive Caribbean batsmen on a particularly sluggish surface.
Much to his delight, left-arm spinner Imad Wasim pierced the World T20 holders with a combination of accuracy and smartness. Their top-order too fell into the trap by not judging the pace of the pitch while attempting extravagant shots.
Faced with some stifling bowling, West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals and threatened to capsize alarmingly. However, the experienced Dwayne Bravo punched back by forming a defiant partnership alongside pacer Jerome Taylor. Thanks to his half-century, they managed to reach a decent total.
However, Pakistan’s top-order ensured that the chase ended up being quite straightforward by getting off to a solid start. Babar Azam stroked his way towards a maiden T20I half-century to seal a clinical victory while the West Indies spinners struggled to counter the dew-filled conditions.
Let us take a look at the most important statistics from the fascinating encounter.
1 – Number of Pakistani bowlers to have picked up five or more wickets in a T20I. Umar Gul has two identical hauls of 5/6, one during the 2009 World T20 against New Zealand and the other against South Africa in 2013.
2 – Pakistan completed consecutive nine-wicket victories in T20Is, the previous one against 2016 World T20 runners-up England and this one against the winners of that tournament.
5 – Wasim became the first Pakistani spinner to take five wickets in a T20I. Overall, his figures of 5/14 from four overs is the eighth best in the format.
6 – Total number of spinners to have taken five-wicket hauls in T20Is including Wasim. The others include Ajantha Mendis (twice), Rangana Herath, Elias Sunny, Samiullah Shenwari and Mark Watt.
8 – Wickets taken by left-arm bowlers for Pakistan in this match which is the most for any team in T20Is. From a possible of four left-arm bowlers, only Wahab Riaz went wicket-less.
9 – Wickets for Wasim in his previous three T20Is. The 27-year old had picked up two wickets for 32 runs against Australia in the World T20 and another two scalps for just 17 runs in the solitary fixture against England.in Manchester.
35 – Combined runs conceded by the Pakistani spinners from nine overs for six wickets. In contrast, the West Indies spinners collectively gave away as many as 48 runs from 7 overs.
48 – Runs for which West Indies lost their first eight wickets at the end of 69 deliveries. But, 67 runs were added for the last two wickets from the next 50 balls.
66 – Runs compiled for the ninth wicket by Bravo and Taylor which is the most in T20Is. They eclipsed the previous best of 63 by Sohail Tanvir and Saeed Ajmal which incidentally happened at the same venue against Sri Lanka in 2013.