Majestic Shoaib sees Pakistan to series win over Windies
Shoaib Malik made his ninth one-day international century as Pakistan inflicted more misery on West Indies with a six-wicket victory to seal the series 2-1 in Guyana on Tuesday.
The tourists booked the final automatic qualification place for the 2019 World Cup at the expense of the Windies by winning the second ODI at Providence Stadium on Sunday and wrapped up another series win at the same stadium two days later.
It is 26 years since the Windies beat Pakistan in an ODI series and the wait goes on after they could only post 233-9, despite 71 from Shai Hope and Jason Mohammed’s 59.
Fit-again paceman Shannon Gabriel removed Kamran Akmal with the first ball of Pakistan’s reply, but experienced duo Mohammad Hafeez (81) and Shoaib – who hit a six to win and finish 101 not out – steered them out of trouble after they were 36-3.
Pakistan won the Twenty20 series 3-1 and will now turn their attention to coming out on top in the Test series, while the Windies will be licking their wounds and must go back to the drawing board.
Runs were hard to come by on a slower track following rain which delayed the start and the Windies were 68-3 in the 19th over, which was not the start Jason Holder was looking for after winning the toss.
Hasan Ali (1-29) was full of confidence after taking five wickets in the second ODI and struck again when Chadwick Walton dragged one on, with Junaid Khan (2-60) having also got rid of Evin Lewis cheaply.
Akmal, more accustomed to having the gloves on behind the stumps, put down a straightforward chance to catch Kieran Powell, but he was stumped off Imad Wasim to fall for 23.
Hope and Mohammed steadied the ship, putting on 101 for the fifth wicket to put the home side on course to post a decent total, hitting a couple of sixes apiece as they scored much-needed half-centuries.
Mohammad Amir (2-41) and Junaid put the brakes on with some excellent pace bowling, though, as the Windies innings stalled, with Hafeez also impressive without reward.
Gabriel, passed fit after recovering from a hamstring injury, snared Akmal with the first ball of the innings and Ahmed Shehzad also failed, but the excellent Hafeez and Shoaib – scorer of a half-century in the first ODI – got Pakistan out of the mire.
Hafeez played some delightful shots and Malik showed his class, also taking advantage of dropped catches with the Windies tiring in the field late on.
Shoaib faced just 111 balls and reached three figures to win the match in style, bringing up his hundred by striking Holder down the ground for his second six, having also hit 10 fours, and flatten the Windies with 41 deliveries to spare.