West Indies conclude their short tour of Pakistan on Sunday when the two sides meet in the third and final ODI in Multan, one which doesn’t carry anything on it as far as the series is concerned but still has plenty of importance in terms of World Cup qualifying.
Pakistan have already won the series having claimed the opening two matches and they will be out to complete a clean sweep of the World Cup qualifying points. West Indies can’t win the series now but they can take some points with them.
We didn’t see the best of Pakistan in that second match of the series but they were far too good for their opponents. It has to be said that conditions are beginning to really suit the home side but even when that is the case you still need to perform and get the job done and that is what Pakistan did. In an ideal world they would have liked to have paced their batting effort a little better but it soon became apparent that their 275 was going to be more than enough.
Their bowlers were massively helped by the wicket but as I said just because the pitch is offering assistance you still need to put the ball in the right places and that is what the Pakistan bowlers did. It helped that they had batters out of their depth in front of them but again you can only beat what is in front of you and they did it well. Although they can improve with the bat, a similar performance should get the job done here.
You got the feeling that when West Indies let the opening match of the series slip from their grasp they would end up paying for it and that is exactly how it has proved. They should have got over the line in that first game and then even though they restricted Pakistan to a par score by modern standards in the second one, there was always a fear that conditions were deteriorating against them and that is exactly how it proved.
Although the conditions did go against them I think it is fair to say that West Indies will be disappointed with their batting effort in the second game. It was almost like once Shai Hope had gone early there was no belief that they could put up a score. They scratched around for a while throughout the innings but at no stage were they ever on course to chase down a modest total. They need to bat much better here.
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With the series won it might be that Pakistan use their squad for this final match of the series, although with no match now until they go to the Netherlands in August there certainly isn’t a need to rest anyone.
West Indies will surely make changes to their batting after that last display. They have Nkrumah Bonner waiting in the wings but if they want to strengthen their batting without weakening their bowling they could bring Keemo Paul into the side.
I’ll take a couple of bets for this final match of the series. The first of those comes in the form of there being under 548.5 runs in the game. We didn’t see anywhere near that many in the first game and the way the wicket in that second match seemed to die halfway through the first innings makes me think that batting isn’t going to be very easy here. We probably won’t be on the same pitch for this match but the square has been out in the open under intense heat a fair bit this week so whichever wicket is used will have been affected. Even when the wicket played well in the first game West Indies only just snuck over the 300 mark. Pakistan didn’t get there on Friday and I don’t expect both sides to get to 275 here. I like the under.
We saw some real turn in the second match on Friday and that is definitely a trend I expect to continue here which makes me think that Akeal Hosein is the one to be on in the top West Indies bowler market. He took the most wickets in the previous match and with Hayden Walsh Jr not looking at the races in international cricket at the minute I expect Hosein to deliver the goods again here. There is no full-time spinner waiting in the wings for West Indies so you would imagine Hosein could have a free run to the top wicket taker honours.
Back Under 548.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365
Back A.Hosein Top West Indies Bowler for a 2/10 stake at 4.33 with William Hill
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