Pakistan batsman Babar Azam has been incredible in the ongoing ODI series against West Indies, as the player scored yet another century to help his team win a second ODI on Sunday. As a result of this, Pakistan have clinched the three-match ODI contest as well.
Pakistan, with the help of Azam's ton and good contribution from Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed, compiled 337 runs and West Indies in reply could score 278 runs from 50 overs.
West Indies did come with an improved performance with the bat, but it was not enough as Pakistan emerged victorious by 59 runs. Experienced players like Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels scored 61 and 57 runs respectively, but other batsmen like Denesh Ramdin and Kieron Pollard could not convert their starts into better scores, which led to their downfall.
But it was Pakistan, who played better cricket for 100 overs to shine in Sharjah. Pakistan, after winning the toss, did not get off to a great start with the Men in Green losing two wickets for 40 runs. Azam and Malik were involved in a good partnership of 169 runs, which paved the way for a grand total.
Azam continued his good form, scoring runs all around the wicket. The right-hander hit nine fours and one six in his innings of 123 runs. But it was Malik, who further took the game away from the opposition as he hit three fours and six sixes in his 84-ball 90.
West Indies skipper believes it was Malik's innings, which changed the game's complexion.
"I thought Shoaib Malik played an outstanding innings. He changed the impetus in terms of the middle overs. I think he put us under some pressure in the middle overs which we probably didn't react to as well as we would like," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Holder as saying.
"Our most successful bowler in the last game was Sulieman Benn and he was taken to by Shoaib Malik. Again I thought Shoaib truly changed the momentum of the game there. I didn't think Benn bowled badly but I just think he got on top of Benn at that stage. I went to my two wicket-takers and Sulieman Benn at that stage. He got the better of Benn today."
The third ODI is set to be played on Wednesday, and West Indies will need to play their best cricket to win the match to restore some pride.