Port of Spain - Evin Lewis thrashed his way to 91 off 51 balls as the West
Indies swept aside Pakistan by seven wickets in the third T20 International at
the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad on Saturday.
Responding to the visitors' total of 137 for eight, Lewis
hoisted nine sixes and belted five fours in a hurricane innings that kept the
series alive going into the final match on Sunday at the same venue with
Pakistan holding a 2-1 advantage.
His assault was in stark contrast to the struggles of most
of the Pakistani batsmen, with the notable exception of Kamran Akmal and Babar
Azam, as a strong position was frittered away by the combination of careless
strokeplay and disciplined West Indies bowling through the final eight overs of
Lewis lost opening partner Chadwick Walton early on in the
chase to an excellent diving catch by Fakhar Zaman running in from the
square-leg boundary off Sohail Tanvir.
Yet it was Tanvir who would suffer the most to the flailing blade
of the left-hander.
Summoned by captain Sarfraz Ahmed in a desperate attempt to
stem the flood of runs, Tanvir was plastered for 24 runs in the 14th over of
the innings, an assault that ended the match as a contest.
Marlon Samuels helped him add 56 runs for the second wicket
and debutant Jason Mohammed looked composed in a third-wicket stand of 76, his
contribution being an unbeaten 17.
But everything else in the match paled in comparison to
Lewis' relentless assault which ended with victory in sight as Wahab Riaz held
the catch at long-off to give Shadab Khan the wicket.
"I just needed to get a start this time and decided to
keep on playing my shots," said Lewis after receiving the man of the match
"It's been a bit of a struggle since getting that
hundred against India (last August in Fort Lauderdale) but I'm delighted to be
back among the runs."
Khan, man of the match with his potent leg-spinners and
googlies in the first two outings, struggled to recapture the same control
under the pressure imposed by Lewis, and to a lesser extent, the other
"We didn't take advantage of the good position we were
in going into the last eight overs of our innings," said a disappointed
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
"We are still ahead in the series though and I expect a
much better effort in the last match."
Veteran Akmal (48) and Azam (43) had the visitors well
poised for a total in excess of 160 after Ahmed chose to bat first as they put
on 88 runs for the second wicket.
Samuel Badree had removed Ahmed Shehzad and Imad Wasim in
the first over of the match.
However the introduction of Samuels for his first bowl in
international cricket for 18 months following the remodelling of his action
earned the home side a vital breakthrough and turned the tide of play.
Samuels' first delivery was an inviting waist-high full toss
which Akmal attempted to heave out of the ground but could only find Lendl
Simmons on the midwicket boundary.
New man Shoaib Malik, Pakistan's topscorer in the thrilling
three-run win on Thursday at the same venue, didn't last long as he flicked a
full-length delivery from West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite unerringly to
Lewis at long-leg.
Pakistan struggled for runs the rest of the way with a
desperate West Indies team battling to limit the total to manageable
proportions. Just 45 runs came off the last eight overs with Badree the pick of
the bowlers in claiming two for 22.