Clean sweep

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The men in green have won the ODI series held in Multan, whitewashing the inexperienced West Indies team 3-0. In the first match, WI posted a mammoth 305 which Pakistan eventually managed to chase down — with just 4 balls remaining — after a masterful century by the skipper and a fiery knock from hard-hitter Khushdil Shah who remained not-out at 41 from just 23 balls. The second match highlighted the strong partnership between Babar and Imam who scored a steady 77 and 72 runs respectively but were eventually overshadowed by Mohammad Nawaz’s brilliant bowling performance — 4 for 19 in his ten overs. The last and final match seemed like it would go the West Indies way before Shadab came in to the rescue with his brilliant overall performance — 86 runs with the bat and with 4 crucial wickets with the ball.

The home win has boosted the morale of an already confident looking Pakistan team that have now surpassed India to sit fourth in the ODI rankings. Babar, as usual, displayed sheer class. He has worked his way to becoming one of the top batsmen in the world and if he continues like this, his name will be sealed in history as one of the greats. Imam too has shown that sticking to the basics and having composure can go a long way in producing solid runs. But it is in Shadab that Pakistan has found a gem. A crucial wicket-taker, a quick scorer in the lower-middle order and a brilliant fielder, Shadab has proven himself to be one of the best all-rounders that Pakistan has seen in quite some time. West Indies on the other hand were lacking in experience. If they are to compete well at such a level, it is essential for them to play many more international games around the world.

The series has shown how necessary home games are not just for the team but also for the people and the nation. We congratulate Team Pakistan on this wonderful clean sweep. Next up, England!

Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2022.

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