PROVIDENCE, GUYANA: Babar Azam stroked yet another hundred against the West Indies and Hasan Ali claimed five wickets as Pakistan won the second one-day international by 74 runs at the National Stadium in Guyana to level the three-match series 1-1 on Sunday.
Put in to bat first by hosts captain Jason Holder, Pakistan posted a competitive total of 282 for five and then dismissed the hosts for 208 off 44.5 overs despite a defiant knock from Holder, who was last out to Ali for a top score of 68.
Reinstated in his favourite number three spot in the batting order, Babar held a faltering innings together and then accelerated towards an unbeaten 125, his fifth century in ODIs and fourth in five innings against the Caribbean side.
His classy knock occupied 132 deliveries and was embellished with three sixes and seven fours.
"I just wanted to bat through to the end of the innings and I was able to achieve that to help us put up a good total," he said. "It doesn't matter where I bat, I just want to make a contribution for the team."
Azam received critical support from Imad Wasim, who finishing with unbeaten 43 in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 99 which released the shackles of previously disciplined West Indian bowling on a pitch lacking the pace and bounce from the first match.
On a good batting pitch, the home side also lost their discipline in the reply, crashing to 75 for six with a series of poor shots while the Pakistan bowlers showed much greater intent than in the first game.
"Our batting at the top again let us down because I felt, on this pitch, we definitely had a chance to get to 283," said Holder after the match. "Maybe it would have been different with some more runs at the top but now we have to focus on winning on Tuesday [in the third and final match]."
Holder was given support by Ashley Nurse, who belted a ODI career best 44 in dominating a 58-run seventh-wicket stand with his captain.
However Ali, who finished with five for 38 off 8.5 overs, eliminated any outside chance the West Indies had of stealing a series-clinching victory.
He trapped Nurse leg-before and then claimed the last two wickets in the 45th over, both to catches by Azam at mid-off.
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