Pakistan wins first ODI against West Indies after much drama

Pakistan Cricket team has won the first ODI against West Indies at Multan Cricket Stadium.

Babar Azam century and partnership between Khusdil Shah and Nawaz made the success possible.

A classy hundred from Shai Hope, his 12th in ODI cricket and one that took him past 4,000 runs in the format, powered West Indies to 305 in the first ODI against Pakistan.

The backbone of the innings was a 154-run partnership between Hope and Shamarh Brooks, two men who effortlessly made the transition from Amstelveen, where West Indies completed an ODI series four days ago, to Multan.

It laid a superb platform to set a huge total, but Pakistan struck back after Brooks fell for 70 thanks to a glorious diving catch from Shadab Khan. Regular wickets fell in the next 15 overs or so with the run rate kept in check, but a strong finish from Rovman Powell and Romario Shepherd catapulted West Indies past 300.

Winning the toss, Nicholas Pooran opted to put the Pakistan bowlers out in the sizzling Multan heat, looking to put runs on the board on a surface that appeared conducive to batting. Despite a stuttering start that saw West Indies lose Kyle Mayers early – Shaheen Afridi invariably striking in his first spell – Hope and Brooks grew increasingly comfortable out in the middle after the powerplay. Once the field spread out, the dot balls – which there were 40 of in the Powerplay – and strike rotation began to get the momentum going the batters’ way.

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The partnership was as artistic as it was effective. There was some sumptuous strokeplay against both spin and pace bowling, with Brooks regularly presenting the full face of the blade in the process of caressing his straight drives, and Hope dismantling Hasan Ali and Mohammad Nawaz.