One, only one bad over deprived Pakistan of victory in a match that remained in their grasp for most of the time. The bowling of Wahab Riaz in the last over was reminiscent of Mohammad Sami’s as the last two batsmen of West Indies scored 14 runs in the over, tying the third ODI played in St Lucia. So the series is still 1-1.

[caption id="attachment_1907" align="alignright" width="300"]Even such a bowling couldn’t save the day for Pakistan (Photo: WICB) Even such a bowling couldn’t save the day for Pakistan (Photo: WICB)[/caption]

Chasing a 230-run target, Pakistan took a firm grip on the match from the beginning, taking three key wickets of Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo and Chris Gayle before 50 runs. Marlon Samuels and Lendl Simmons did nothing but saved the wicket in the next 22 overs, adding just 91 runs. Samuels was dismissed in the batting powerplay after scoring 46 runs on a hefty 106 balls. He was to blame had West Indies lost the match. After his departure, West Indies tried to come back in the game, thanks to Simmons. Pakistan would have lost the grasp on the match, had Saeed Ajmal not dismissed Simmons and aggressive Dwayne Bravo in a single over. Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy gave away their wickets to Junaid Khan in the next over, and the game was almost slipped off the hands of the hosts as they need another 39 runs to win in three overs with two wickets remaining.

When Sunil Narine lost his wicket after hitting a six and two fours to Ajmal in the 48th over, West Indies were hinging on the last wicket. The last over stated with Kemar Roach and Jason Holder standing on the wicket and the hosts needing 15 runs to claim victory. The ball was given to Riaz and he did what Sami had done recently against Sri Lanka. Failing to deliver a single ball at the target, he was hit a six and a four and on the last ball, when three more runs were required to win, the batsmen scored two runs and the match ended in a draw.

Umar Akmal missed a chance to run out and the hosts succeeded to take a couple of runs. Although the match was a tie, it should be considered a defeat for the tourists as the West Indian themselves found it difficult to believe that they had restricted Pakistan from winning.

Holder scored 19 off just 9, hitting a six and a four. Simmons was the top-scorer for West Indies and also shared the man-of-the-match award. He faced 86 balls during his innings, which included two 6s and seven 4s.

Junaid and Ajmal took three wicket apiece, Mohammad Irfan took two, whereas Riaz took just one wicket and proved the most expensive with 63 runs in 10 overs.

Ironically, Pakistan were denied a run in the final moments of the first innings when Akmal played a shot and took a double. Umpire said it was short run and deducted one run. Replay, however, showed that it was not. So that “one run” snatched victory from Pakistan.

Earlier, the tourists put West Indies into bat after winning the toss. Pakistan had replaced Haris Sohail and Junaid Khan with Asad Shafique and Asad Ali. After a 39-run opening stand, both openers lost their wickets successively. Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq added 53 runs on the third wicket but Hafeez’s dismissal lessened the team’s chances of making a big total. Debutant Sohail did his best and scored 26 runs in a 60-run partnership with Misbah.

Pakistan get a blow by the back-to-back dismissals of Misbah and Shahid Afridi. The captain was clean bowled by Dwayne Bravo after scoring 75 off 112. Shahid Afridi, who was back in his old form after his fireworks in the first ODI, lost his wicket on just 1 run.

[caption id="attachment_1908" align="alignright" width="294"]Umar Akmal remained the “side hero” of the match: heroic batting, short run and failing to run out on the last ball (Photo: AFP) Umar Akmal remained the “side hero” of the match: heroic batting, short run and failing to run out on the last ball (Photo: AFP)[/caption]

Umar and Riaz added 52 runs on just 25 balls in the end to help Pakistan amass a total of 229 runs. Umar scored 40 off 31.

However, the target was not enough on the wicket. It was Pakistani bowlers, except Riaz, who led the match to such a close position.

Holder and Dwayne Bravo took two wickets apiece, and each of Roach and Sammy took one. Misbah and Simmons shared the man-of-the-match award on scoring 75 runs each.

The fourth and important one-dayer is now played at the same venue in July 21. The team that wins will get an unassailable lead in the series.
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