Beginning the One-Day International (ODI) series on winning note, a rejuvenated West Indies will lock horns with dominant Pakistan in the second ODI with a hope to clinch the series in Guyana. Jason Mohammed continued his stupendous form and led the side to victory by 4 wickets. Supporting him were Evin Lewis and Ashley Nurse. Pakistan also showed grit and determination with Mohammad Hafeez proving a point with the bat. However, Pakistan would want to overlook the current news of their veteran players Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan’s retirements and make the next game count. Sarfraz Khan, who took over the reins of ODI captaincy full-time, faced an initial blow. Full Cricket Scorecard: Pakistan vs West Indies, 2nd ODI at Guyana
However, with some notable performances from both ends, it is tough to decide over which side will hold their fort. Here are some interesting key clashes to watch out for from the clash on Sunday:
Ahmed Shehzad vs Evin Lewis: The onus of providing the perfect start is always on the opening batsmen, and both these players have done that job successfully for their respective sides in this series. Shehzad provided a strong start in the previous match with his 83-ball 67 and will be expected to entertain the viewers again. Meanwhile, Lewis made a mark when his partner Chadwick Walton was unable to bring his T20I form in the ODIs. Who fires up on all cylinders would be intriguing to see.
Kieran Powell vs Mohammad Hafeez: Both the players had a point to prove with their bat after poor run in the shorter format and they did so convincingly. Powell, who returned to the side for England series since 2014, was bundled out for single digits. However, he turned the tides and rose to the occasion when one of the opening batsmen failed to provide flying start in the previous game. Meanwhile, Hafeez’s last fifty came against Australia two months back and this time around, he ensured Pakistan’s score went beyond the 300-run mark. With the form just building up, both the teams would want these batsmen to show their batting prowess in the next crucial game.
Shoaib Malik vs Jason Mohammed: The job of ensuring the top-order momentum is carried successfully through the middle-order cannot be better entrusted upon anyone else but these batsmen. Malik would be expected to go all guns blazing just the like first ODI where he eased to his fifty off 38 deliveries that included 6 fours and 2 sixes. Meanwhile, West Indies’ dependable batsman Mohammed will hope to carry forward his top-notch form and keep the runs flowing in bulk for this important match.
Shadab Khan vs Ashley Nurse: If Pakistan were in a hunt for another gem of a spinner, they found their answers in Shadab Khan. Already finding his spot in Test squad along with Yasir Shah, he also etched his mark in the shorter format. He ended with figures of 2 for 52 after ending with 10 wickets in the T20Is. On the other hand, Nurse could be the next big thing for West Indies. Off just 8 ODIs, Nurse has already grabbed 18 wickets since his debut in 2016. With two more games to go, Nurse would be eyeing to steal the limelight from Shadab.