Lewis smashes Windies to victory to keep series alive
Pakistan missed the chance to seal a Twenty20 series win over West Indies as Evin Lewis led the hosts to a dominant seven-wicket triumph.
Evin Lewis hit a stunning 91 off just 51 deliveries as West Indies raced to a seven-wicket victory in the third Twenty20 international with Pakistan, keeping the series alive.
Lewis blasted nine sixes at the top of the order as the West Indies batsmen finally found their rhythm, the hosts picking off their 138-run target with 31 balls to spare.
Left-hander Lewis' superb knock was the catalyst for their victory, but the opener was denied the chance to score the winning runs as he holed out at long-off going for another maximum.
His heroics came after Pakistan had struggled for momentum having won the toss, Kamran Akmal (48), Babar Azam (43) and Fakhar Zaman (21) the only ones to offer any resistance.
Their 137-8 never looked like being enough once Lewis got going and by the end of the Windies' 15th over the match was done and dusted, giving the home side hope of avoiding a series defeat.
They now trail 2-1 in the four-match clash and will hope for a repeat display in the final T20 on Sunday.
Samuel Badree (2-22) put Pakistan in immediate trouble with two wickets in the opening over, the spinner deceiving Ahmed Shehzad (4) before accounting for Imad Wasim (0) stumped two balls later.
Kamran and Babar rescued the situation with an 88-run stand for the third wicket, but it was far from fluent.
It took Pakistan until the 15th over to reach three figures – by which time Kamran had departed – as Babar launched Sunil Narine (1-34) over deep midwicket for six.
He departed next ball and, despite Zaman's best efforts, they failed to post a competitive total.
Unlike in the second game, when West Indies came up three runs short despite only chasing 133, the hosts made light work of claiming the win.
Lewis may have lost opening partner Chadwick Walton (1) early on, but it mattered little as the 25-year-old worked well with Marlon Samuels (18) to lay a solid foundation.
Samuels departed in the eighth over and Lewis quickly stepped up the pace.
We Jammin!!! Windies fans celebrate today's victory at The Oval pic.twitter.com/UzKd1CbxC5— westindies (@westindies) April 1, 2017
A stand of 76 for the third wicket with debutant Jason Mohammed (17 not out) saw Lewis smash 56 – including 22 off one Sohail Tanvir (1-40) over.
His ninth maximum brought them to within four of victory, but he was unable to complete the job as he found Wahab Riaz on the boundary.
Instead it fell to Lendl Simmons (4 not out) to seal the triumph with a crisp punch off the back foot to the mid-on boundary.