Pakistan to face off against West Indies today in first T20I

Dec 13, 2021: Host nation Pakistan is looking forward to the first match out of a total of three T20 Internationals to be played against the Covid-affected West Indies at the National Stadium in Karachi today (Monday).

Today’s match will start at 6 pm.

The West Indies, who have already lost several top players, including captain Kieron Pollard, suffered an additional blow when left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, and all-rounders Roston Chase and Kyle Meyers tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

The tourists will now have to find alternatives to their star players from their large touring squads. Currently the firm favourites, Pakistan beat Bangladesh 3-0 at their home grounds last month to put on a show similar to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup.

“We want to maintain the momentum and confidence we have gained during the World Cup and the tour of Bangladesh,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam told reporters before the match on Sunday. “It has always been the case that they are missing some important players but those who are here are of international standard so we will not take them lightly.”

Pakistan have beaten West Indies in 12 of their 18 T20I matches, losing three. Babar has forged an unbreakable opening partnership with Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi’s fast bowling attack as well as a solid batting line-up have seen the team win eight of their last nine T20s.

Rizwan is the first batsman to score 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year, scoring 1,123 runs in 26 matches, while Babar scored 853 runs in the same number of games. West Indies’ fortunes have been bleak, with them failing to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals after winning the competition in 2012 and 2016.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir

West Indies squad: Nicholas Pooran (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Darren Bravo, Dominic Drakes, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Rovman Powell.

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