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West Indies’ power-hitting vs Pakistan’s bowling as teams prepare for T20 World Cup

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Hasan Ali and co. made the hosts dig deep in the washed-out first T20I

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A Covid-19 case got one T20I between West Indies and Pakistan cancelled, while Bajan weather took care of the other. That means what was set to be a luxuriant, slow-burn five-match series has instead turned into a snappy best of three, with little room for either side to put a foot wrong. The players spent the two days in between shuttling over from Barbados to Guyana, with Providence Stadium hosting all three matches.

The nine overs that were managed on Wednesday might have appeared pointless on the scorecard, but both sides will have learned plenty from them. For Pakistan, it’s a shot in the arm for a bowling unit that head coach Misbah-ul-Haq admitted was below par in the recently concluded England series. The entire innings was a test of the visitors’ new-ball skills as well as death-overs ability, and on both counts there will be little cause for complaint.

Hasan Ali’s return makes the bowling unit significantly more potent, while Mohammad Wasim, making his debut in difficult circumstances, made Chris Gayle his first T20I scalp. Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan and Usman Qadir only bowled an over each, but kept the runs down and picked up a couple of wickets amongst them for good measure.

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