Sharjah - Fast-rising Babar Azam cracked a second successive
hundred to guide Pakistan to a dominant 59-run win over the West Indies in the
second one-day international in Sharjah, gaining an unbeatable 2-0 lead in
Azam's brilliant 126-ball 123 formed the cornerstone of
Pakistan's imposing 337-5 which also featured half-centuries from Shoaib Malik
and Sarfraz Ahmed.
West Indies finished on 278-7 from their 50 overs with
Darren Bravo hitting 61 and Marlon Samuels scoring 57.
The final match will be in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
"It was a wonderful team effort," said Pakistan
captain Azhar Ali.
"We needed a good partnership after losing two early
wickets and Azam and Malik gave that to us with pace and wisdom."
West Indian captain Jason Holder rued his team's bad
"I think we didn't bowl as well as we would have wanted
and in the end 330-plus was too much for us," said Holder.
West Indies needed to improve on their best chase of 285
against Pakistan which came in 1993 at this same venue, but Pakistan's varied
attack kept them at bay.
Bravo added 89 for the second wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite
(39) after Johnson Charles was removed for two in the second over by Mohammad
Bravo hit three towering sixes and five boundaries off 74
balls before he was smartly run out by paceman Hasan Ali who knocked over the
stumps at the non-striker's end after the batsman aimed for a quick single.
Samuels also tried his best during his 52-ball 57, spiced
with four boundaries and two sixes, and added 67 for the fourth wicket with
Denesh Ramdin (34) before fiery pace bowler Wahab Riaz (2-48) removed both in
Kieron Pollard, playing his 100th one-day international,
made 22 and Holder, who scored 31 not out, found the going tough as West Indies
needed 121 in the last 10 overs and 87 in last five.
Earlier Azam anchored Pakistan's highest one-day total
against the West Indies, beating the 307-8 they made at Perth nine years ago.
Azam added 169 for the third wicket with Malik who missed
his ninth one-day hundred by 10 runs, scoring an attractive 84-ball 90 with six
hits over the fence and three boundaries.
It was another dominating batting display by Pakistan, with
Azam and Malik shredding the West Indian bowling at will, and Sarfraz Ahmed
finishing it with 47-ball 60 not out.
Azam reached his second one-day international hundred with a
single off Carlos Brathwaite, waving his bat and bowing down in delight.
He was finally caught off paceman Alzarri Joseph at long-on
in the 46th over.
Malik was also ruthless as he reached his 38th half-century
off 55 balls before hitting three successive sixes off left-arm spinner
Sulieman Benn, one went out of the Sharjah stadium.
Azam and Malik steadied the innings after openers Ali (nine)
and Sharjeel Khan (24) fell in the space of three deliveries with the total at
Ahmed, who hit seven fours, helped Azam add another 73 for
the fourth wicket as Pakistan added 97 in the last ten overs and 55 in the last
Joseph and Holder took two wickets apiece.