1. Pakistan sweeps ODI series vs West Indies in UAE

Pakistan sweeps ODI series vs West Indies in UAE

Centuries by Babar Azam and captain Azhar Ali propelled Pakistan to 308-6, and West Indies, which has never overhauled a 300-plus score in an ODI, was all out for 172 in 44 overs.

By: | Abu Dhabi | Published: October 6, 2016 2:37 AM
Centuries by Babar Azam and captain Azhar Ali propelled Pakistan to 308-6, and West Indies, which has never overhauled a 300-plus score in an ODI, was all out for 172 in 44 overs. (Reuters) Centuries by Babar Azam and captain Azhar Ali propelled Pakistan to 308-6, and West Indies, which has never overhauled a 300-plus score in an ODI, was all out for 172 in 44 overs. (Reuters)

Pakistan swept the one-day international series against the West Indies 3-0 after winning the last match by 136 runs on Wednesday.

Centuries by Babar Azam and captain Azhar Ali propelled Pakistan to 308-6, and West Indies, which has never overhauled a 300-plus score in an ODI, was all out for 172 in 44 overs.

West Indies has yet to beat Pakistan on this tour. It also lost the Twenty20 series 3-0, and the three-match test series starts on Oct. 13.

Azam’s 117 was his third successive hundred in the series, only the eighth instance in ODI history of a batsman hitting three consecutive hundreds, and the third by a Pakistani, after Zaheer Abbas in 1982-83, and Saeed Anwar in 1993.

Azhar made 101, becoming the first Pakistan ODI captain to score three centuries. The crowd in Sharjah reportedly cheered on Sunday when he was out for 9, following his duck in the opening match. There were cheers again on Wednesday, but only for his lasting class.

He and Sharjeel Khan rushed to 85 in their opening stand. Then he and Azam slowly got going by taking regular ones and twos, and combining for 147 for the second wicket.

They were separated in the 39th over, at 232-2, but reasonable expectations of a score of about 350 were undermined by the West Indies bowlers who didn’t give up. They didn’t concede double-digit runs in an over in the last 22 overs, and only two boundaries in the last 13 overs.

Still, the West Indies had never chased down 300-plus, and the last five days weren’t helpful. Also batting second in the previous two matches, the West Indies lost those on runs by 111 and 59.

This time, they didn’t try and force the action. Instead, despite needing more than a run a ball, they appeared to be trying to save wickets for a late charge. But they lost wickets anyway.

Fast bowler Sohail Khan, recalled by Pakistan for the first time since the 2015 Cricket World Cup, took out the leg stump of Evin Lewis (22), and fellow opener Kraigg Brathwaite (32) was lbw to Shoaib Malik.

Darren Bravo (17) edged behind, having wasted almost four overs without scoring, and Marlon Samuels (13) was run out by teammate Denesh Ramdin, who top-scored with 37 before he was run out, but wasted more than five overs.

Kieron Pollard (11) gave his wicket away and, after some resistance from captain Jason Holder, 26 off 25 balls, only the margin of Pakistan’s victory was in doubt.

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