Pakistan scripted a fairytale win over West Indies in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) of the four-match series to go 2-0 up. Having won the first T20I, they came into the match high on confidence. However, after being restricted to 132, they were not expected to win the match. West Indies got to a good start as well, thus raising hopes of levelling the series. But in came their tormentor Shadab Khan, who had single-handedly demolished them in the first T20I. He went one step further this time, picking 4 for 14 after a 3-for in the first match, to help his team win the close encounter by 3 runs and take unassailable lead in the series. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs West Indies, 3rd T20I at Port of Spain
While the tourists have done everything right so far, the hosts need to quickly regroup and script a comeback in the must-win third T20I on Saturday. If they fail, Pakistan will walk away with the series. Hence, West Indies are likely to make a few changes in order to strike a winning formula. Ahead of the third T20I, let us take a look at the likely XIs the two teams may field:
Top order: After two wins in a row, Pakistan are unlikely to change their top order. Though both Kamran Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad have not quite set the stage on fire, the Pakistan think-tank is likely to give them a longer rope after their spectacular display in Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) just concluded second season. Shehzad did have an injury scare after the on-field collision while fielding in the second ODI and had to be stretchered off the field. However, his return to the field later on suggests he is fit for the third game. Young Babar Azam will continue to take the No. 3 spot.
West Indies’ top order has not fired either. Though Chadwick Walton has got the starts, Evin Lewis’ form remains a concern. West Indies though are likely to give him another game before a decision on him can be taken. Marlon Samuels, team’s senior-most member, will take the vital No. 3 spot. He was the top-scorer in the second ODI and his side appeared to be on the course of win till he was there in the middle.
Middle order: Pakistan have a strong middle order with the likes of Shoaib Malik and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in the line-up. They surprisingly dropped Mohammad Hafeez in the second game to hand young Fakhar Zaman his T20I debut. Though the latter scored only 5, he is likely to be given another game. Imad Wasim will continue to play the all-rounder’s role in the side and will bat at No. 7.
West Indies’ middle order is in complete disarray. After a shambolic display in the first game, it collapsed in the second game too, as West Indies went from 60 for 1 to 81 for 6. Lend Simmons and Kieron Pollard need to get amongst the runs in the third game, if the hosts are to have any chance of winning it. Despite their failures, the team is likely to persist with them for all the experience they bring to the table. However, after two bad games, young Rovman Powell could make way for either of Jason Mohammed or Andre Fletcher. Skipper Carlos Brathwaite will take the No. 7 spot.
Bowlers: After defending a modest 132, Pakistan would not want to tinker with their bowling unit. Hence, Sohail Tanvir, Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz are likely to form the pace department. Hasan kept his nerves to bowl a tight final over and ensure his side’s win, after bowling three costly overs. This may keep him in the mix. The final spot in the XI will be taken by the sensational Shadab, who has now 7 wickets from two games at an astounding average and economy rate.
West Indies too are unlikely to make changes in their bowling unit. Jason Holder, Kesrick Williams and their spin duo of Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine did well in the previous game. It was their batting that let them down. Hence, no changes are expected in the bowling department.
Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Imad Wasim, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan
West Indies: Chadwick Walton (wk), Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Jason Mohammed/Andre Fletcher, Carlos Brathwaite (c), Sunil Narine, Jason Holder, Samuel Badree, Kesrick Williams