First T20: Debutant Zulfiqar Babar seals dramatic win for Pakistan

Debutant Zulfiqar Babar takes 3 wickets with the ball and scores a six of the last ball to win the match for Pakistan.


Web Desk July 27, 2013
Mohammad Hafeez had Chris Gayle lbw in his second over. PHOTO: CRICINFO.

ST VINCENT: Pakistan's gamble in handing 34-year old spinner Zulfiqar Babar his debut paid unexpected dividends after left-arm bowler first secured three wickets for Pakistan and then managed to smash a six off the last ball of the Pakistan innings to secure a win for his team.

Set a daunting 153 runs target by the West Indies, Pakistan found themselves in deep trouble losing both openers Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad with just 10 runs on the board.

Pakistan continued to bleed wickets and it took Umar Amin, 47 runs off 34 balls, and Shahid Afridi, 46 off 27 balls, to steady the ship.

Afridi was looking set to take Pakistan all the way, but tried too hard to smash Gabriel out of the park in the penultimate over, and only managed to find Bravo at long-off.

The duo of Saeed Ajmal and Babar though managed to make the match secure for Pakistan, leveling the scores. Though, there was one last twist remaining. Ajmal, spotting a chance to win the T20 match, just as he had scored the winning runs in the fifth ODI earlier in the week, drove to mid-off and set off. But Simmons was quick on the ball and caught Ajmal short.

With the last ball of the match, Babar eclipsed history with a Miandad-esque six off the last ball, albeit over long-off, to hand his side the victory and an unassailable lead in the two match series.

Earlier, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, the West Indies team scored 152 runs at the loss of seven wickets in the first Twenty 20 International between Pakistan and West Indies at St Vincent, in Kingstown.

As Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles walked out to open on a dry pitch at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, the West Indies wobbled at first, losing both openers to Mohammad Hafeez for a total of only 13.

Lendl Simmons was bowled by debutant spinner Zulfiqar Babar, Pakistan seemed to have their opponents in a tangle.

However, Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo both chipped in with 25 each to give the lower order something to work with.

Keiron Pollard hammered 49 runs off 36 deliveries, aided by a typically aggressive Darren Sammy, 30 runs off 14 balls, to help the Windies post a target of 153 for Pakistan.

From Pakistan's side, Mohammad Irfan proved the most expensive, conceding 39 runs in three overs while taking one wicket. Junaid Khan went for 34 runs in three wicketless overs. While Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi failed to pick up any wickets as well, Mohammad Hafeez and Zulfiqar Babar managed much better figures. Hafeez took two wickets for just four runs in two overs. Babar, who is in his T20 international debut, managed to be the surprise package for Pakistan, claiming three crucial scalps, while conceding just 23 runs in four overs.

The West Indies line up for today features Samuel Badree and Shannon Gabriel. Darren Bravo is the notable absentee, who misses out with an illness.

Pakistan have made three changes to their side. Hammad Azam returns to the team with debuts handed to batsman Umar Amin and 34 year-old left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar.

West Indies:

CH Gayle, J Charles, MN Samuels, LMP Simmons, KA Pollard, DJ Bravo, DJG Sammy, SP Narine, S Badree, TL Best, ST Gabriel

Pakistan:

Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Hammad Azam, Zulfiqar Babar, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan

COMMENTS (13)

Boom Boom | 7 years ago | Reply

Congrats Green Shirts...and Thank you Boom Boom you did it again....

Muhammad A. Malik | 7 years ago | Reply

Congrats to Team Pak!

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