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Windies lose after Holder and Pooran give their best


Windies lose after Holder and Pooran give their best
Nicholas Pooran was unbeaten on 62. - (GP)

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Georgetown – An explosive, career-best half-century from Nicholas Pooran failed to get West Indies over the finish line and Pakistan took a 1-0 lead in their Twenty20 International series with a seven-run victory on Saturday in Guyana.

Pooran smashed four fours and six sixes in an unbeaten 62 from 33 balls and brought to life a sputtering Windies chase of 158 for victory in the second T20I before a sparse crowd at the Guyana National Stadium.

Pooran was four and the run chase for the Caribbean side was going nowhere on 76 for three, when left-handed opener Evin Lewis retired hurt on 35 at the end of the 14th over, bringing West Indies captain Kieron Pollard to the crease.

This seemed to energise Pooran and he announced himself with back to back sixes and a four off pacer Mohammed Wasim in the 16th over to give real legs to the run chase and put on 64 for the fourth wicket with Pollard.

The Windies needed 20 from the final over, but Pollard was caught at deep extra cover off the second ball of the over from left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi, and the chase effectively ran out of steam.

Earlier, Jason Holder grabbed a career-best four for 26 from his allotted four overs and Pakistan were restricted to 157 for eight from their allocation of 20 overs.

Holder removed Pakistani captain Babar Azam for the top score of 51, Hasan Ali for a first-ball duck and Sohaib Maqsood for five to halt Pakistan’s runaway scoring in the closing over, after rain stopped play with the visitors on 134 for two after 16 overs.

Dwayne Bravo supported with two for 24 from his four overs and Pakistan failed to rebuild the momentum after the stoppage, losing six for 24 in the last four overs, but their disciplined bowling made sure they had no reason to panic.

The third match of the series will be played on Sunday at the same venue.

Summarised scores:

PAKISTAN 157 for eight off 20 overs (Babar Azam 51, Mohammad Rizwan 46, Sharjeel Khan 20, Fakhar Zaman 15; Jason Holder 4-26, Dwayne Bravo 2-24).

WEST INDIES 150 for four off 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 62 not out, Evin Lewis 35 retired hurt, Shimron Hetmyer 17, Chris Gayle 16, Kieron Pollard 13).

(AR)