Pakistan have been brilliant in the ongoing T20 series against West Indies, defeating the Caribbean nation hands down in two matches played so far. As a result of which, they have already clinched the series 2-0, hence West Indies will hope to win the third T20, which will be played in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, and restore pride.
West Indies lost the first and second T20 in Dubai, with both their bowlers and batsmen failing to shine. With the third and the final T20 match to be played in Abu Dhabi, Carlos Brathwaite and his team will hope to put on a show.
The problem for West Indies have been their top-order batsmen, who have been below par in the series. In the first T20, West Indies lost their first four wickets with 17 runs on the board, and 45 runs (second T20), which is dismal for any team, and here we are talking about world champions, who took the world by storm with some incredible batting performances in the competition in March.
Barthwaite is aware of it, and wants his top order to give them a solid start.
"We haven't been making the most of the first six overs with only two fielders out. And then it became harder and harder...in the first game we had five wickets down," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Brathwaite as saying.
"And then chasing 160 and [being] only 20-odd after the first six, it's going to be a lot more difficult especially with such huge boundaries. So our top-order batting and the misuse of the first six overs was our downfall in the first two games."
Though it looks evident that the West Indies batsmen are to be blamed for the loss, their bowlers have not been impressive either. Key bowlers Samuel Badree has only taken two wickets so far, and Sunil Narine is still searching for his first wicket.
Hence, there is a serious need for both their batsmen and bowlers to perform in the third T20 if they are to have any chance of winning the last match of the series. Pakistan, who have played some solid cricket, are eyeing series whitewash against the World T20 champions.
Contrary to West Indies, Pakistan players have delivered with both the bat and the ball. Khalid Latif has been consistent in both the matches, scoring 34 and 40 runs. The opener looked good with the bat in the first six overs, and his partner Sharjeel Khan, who is an explosive batsman, will want to score big in the third ODI, and help his team win 3-0.
Bowlers like Imad Wasim and Sohail Tanvir have shone with the ball, and played an important role in dismissing the key players of the West Indies, and have thus restricted the opposition to low scores.
Pakistan, overall, have played positive cricket, and coach Mickey Arthur wants his team to continue their dominance in the third T20 as well. The coach was also pleased with the way his batsmen have started in the first six overs, scoring quick runs.
"Without a doubt the series win is the first step in the right direction. We want to win it 3-0 and want to be ruthless with our attitude." Cricket Country quoted Arthur as saying.
"Some of the things we identified in the England series was power play and that is pleasing that we have improved on that."
Pakistan, after quality cricket in the first two matches, will start the third T20 as favourite, but they cannot afford to take West Indies lightly. The Caribbean nation will be hungry to finish the series on a high and gain confidence ahead of the ODI contest.
Where to watch live
Pakistan vs West Indies 3rd T20 is scheduled for 8 pm local time (9:30 pm IST, 9 pm Pakistan time, 4pm GMT ) start. TV options and live streaming options can be found below.
India: TV: Ten 3: Live Streaming: Ten Sports Live
Pakistan – TV: PTV Sports. Live streaming: PTV Sports live
US: Willow TV