PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Hometown boy Evin Lewis went on a six-hitting spree to lead the charge with a pugnacious 91 that ended West Indies' home season losing skid in style with a convincing seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in the third Twenty20 International on Saturday here.
Playing in front of a crowd of more than 6,000, the diminutive left-hander went ballistic upon the Pakistani bowlers, striking five fours and an incredible nine sixes from just 51 balls, as the Windies successfully chased 138 on a docile Queen's Park Oval pitch to claim their first victory in six international matches on home soil for the year.
The 25-year-old Lewis, from the remote village of Tableland, about 30 kilometres east of the southern Trinidad city of San Fernando, shared half-century stands with Marlon Samuels and compatriot Jason Mohammed to capture the Player of the Match prize and put the West Indies firmly on track for a morale-boosting victory before he was dismissed with four needed.
Lendl Simmons, another Trinidad and Tobago native, carried the home team to the magic number with 31 balls remaining, when he scorched a drive back past leg-spinner Shadab Khan, whose bowling was the difference between the two sides in the first two matches in the series, but was reduced to rubble by a rampaging Lewis.
The result meant that West Indies now trail 1-2 in the four-match series, following a six-wicket loss in the first T20I last Sunday at Kensington Oval and a three-run defeat in the second match last Thursday at this venue. The final match of the series will be contested today.
West Indies did well to recover from a half-century, third-wicket stand between Kamran Akmal and Babar Azam to restrict the Pakistanis to 137 for eight from their allocation of 20 overs after they chose to bat.
After leg-spinner Samuel Badree struck twice in the first over of the match, Akmal hit top score of 48 and Babar supported with 43 in a stand of 88 before the Pakistanis badly lost their way in the second half of their innings.
The Windies then suffered a setback in the second over, when Chadwick Walton was caught at deep backward square-leg off Sohail Tanveer for one from a flick.
PAKISTAN (20 overs maximum)
Ahmed Shehzad b Badree 4
Kamran Akmal c Simmons b Samuels 48
Imad Wasim st Walton b Badree 0
Babar Azam b Narine 43
Shoaib Malik c Lewis b Brathwaite 2
Fakhar Zaman run out (Narine/Holder) 21
*+Sarfraz Ahmed run out (+Walton/Holder) 3
Wahab Riaz c Pollard b Williams 1
Sohail Tanveer not out 2
Shadab Khan not out 1
Extras (b1, lb7, w2) 10
Total (8 wkts, 20 overs) 137
Hassan Ali did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Shehzad, 0.2 overs); 2-4 (Wasim, 0.4); 3-92 (Akmal, 12.1); 4-95 (Malik, 13.4); 5-115 (Babar, 15.4); 6-124 (Sarfraz, 17.2); 7-130 (Wahab, 18.3); 8-132 (Fakhar, 19.1)
Bowling: Badree 4-0-22-2; Holder 4-0-26-0; Williams 4-0-21-1 (w1); Brathwaite 3-0-15-1; Narine 3-0-34-1 (w1); Samuels 2-0-11-1
WEST INDIES (target: 138 off 20 overs)
E. Lewis c Wahab Riaz b Shadab Khan 91
+C. Walton c Fakhar Zaman b Sohail Tanveer 1
M. Samuels c Imad Wasim b Wahab Riaz 18
J. Mohammed not out 17
L. Simmons not out 4
Extras (lb3, w3, nb1) 7
Total (3 wkts, 14.5 overs) 138
K Pollard, *C Brathwaite, J Holder, S Narine, S Badree, K Williams did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Walton, 1.2 overs); 2-58 (Samuels, 7.6); 3-134 (Lewis, 14.4)
Bowling: Imad Wasim 3-0-20-0 (w1); Sohail Tanveer 3-0-40-1 (nb1, w1); Hassan Ali 2-0-20-0; Shadab Khan 3.5-0-38-1; Wahab Riaz 2-0-6-1 (w1); Shoaib Malik 1-0-11-0
Result: West Indies won by seven wickets
Series: Pakistan lead four-match series 2-1
Player of the Match: E Lewis (West Indies)
Umpires: G Brathwaite, L Reifer Jr
Video umpire: J Wilson
Match referee: J Crowe (New Zealand)
4th umpire: N Duguid