Pakistan continued their tremendous form in the shortest form as they managed to thrash the depleted Windies by a margin of 63 runs in the first T20I of the three-match series and the teams are now set to lock horns in the 2nd T20I, this Tuesday.
Once again it was the wicket-keeper opener Mohammad Rizwan who stood tall for his side and despite his partner, Babar Azam getting out for a duck, Rizwan along with Haider Ali and Nawaz ensured Pakistan registered an above par target of 200 runs.
Barring a few cameos from Windies batsmen, namely, opener Shai Hope, Romario Shepherd, and Odean Smith, the others struggled to get going.
With two more matches remaining, this encounter stands to be a must-win for the visitors, can they manage to stage a revitalizing comeback? Or will the hosts once again make easy work of Nicholas Pooran in their backyard?
Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (12:30 GMT)
Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (01:00 GMT)
Match Venue: National Stadium, Karachi
Head to Head
Matches played: 15, Pakistan: 12, West Indies: 3
Highest run-getter in this fixture: Babar Azam (454 runs)
Highest wicket-taker in this fixture: Shadab Khan (15 wickets)
Weather conditions and pitch
Pakistan would be happy to feature the same playing combination for this encounter as there seems no reason to fiddle with the combination after the dominating show.
The visitors opted for four pacers and one spinner combination which backfired. Leggie Hayden Walsh could be a great asset in the Karachi strip and we could see him replace Dominic Drakes, who was rather expensive in the last outing.
Probable Playing Xl
Pakistan (PAK): Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Afridi
West Indies (WI): Shamarh Brooks, Brandon King, Shai Hope (wk), Devon Thomas, Nicholas Pooran (c), Rovman Powell, Odean Smith, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein, Dominic Drakes, Oshane Thoma
It's an absolute no-brainer to have the in-form Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan as whatever he touches is turning out to be gold. Skipper Babar Azam and Shadab Khan are two other players who could be among the fantasy points.
For the West Indies, opener Shai Hope can be relied on but the expectations will be sky-high. All-rounder Romario Shepherd is another must-pick for the clash.
PAK vs WI fantasy team
Captain and Vice-captain picks
The hosts look impeccable in this format and it would require a mountainous effort from the West Indies side if they are to stage a comeback. The team is undergoing a transition period as it was only recently that the big names- Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo decided to hang their boots. Agreed the players need time to settle down but the lack of intent was disturbing to see.
We expect the refurbished Windies to try hard but the conditions are well in favor of the hosts and they just look impeccable in the current form.
Cricwizz predicts Pakistan to win the match and lead the 3-match series, 2-0.
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