Plays of the day from the third T20I between Pakistan and West Indies in Abu Dhabi
Left-arm (almost) everything
From No. 7 down, Pakistan’s team-sheet for the match listed the following names: Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees. Two left-arm spinners, three left-arm seamers. But just when you thought Pakistan would achieve the first of completing an entire T20I innings with only left-arm bowlers, that man Shoaib Malik ruined everything, sending down his shuffling right-arm offbreaks in the eighth and tenth overs of West Indies’ innings.
In the fifth over of West Indies’ innings, Andre Fletcher worked Mohammad Nawaz’s left-arm spin into the leg side and called for a single. At the non-striker’s end, Samuels seemed to respond to the call, taking a couple of steps out of his crease. But he stopped abruptly, and put his arm up. Fletcher by then was halfway down the pitch with nowhere to go. He turned and tried to regain his ground, but it was too late, and even a wayward throw from the square leg fielder, forcing wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed to jump and reach over his head, couldn’t save him.
Pakistan’s (Taylor) swift start
With Pakistan chasing less than six an over, it was imperative West Indies made their batsmen work as hard as possible for their runs. The very first over failed to meet that objective, as Jerome Taylor struggled to get his radar in order. First up, a short ball angling down the leg side, which the left-handed Sharjeel Khan only had to help to the fine-leg boundary. Then a wide down the leg side. Then another ball angling down leg, running away for four leg byes after hitting Sharjeel’s thigh pad as he missed a flick. In his next over, Taylor was as prone to bowling down the leg side against the right-handed Khalid Latif. With fine leg inside the circle, he glanced and pulled him for three successive fours.
The dancing debutant
Kesrick Williams is 26, comes from St Vincent and the Grenadines, and bowls right-arm medium-fast, with lots of changes in pace. Making his international debut, he struck twice in Pakistan’s sixth over, slanting one across to get Sharjeel nicking off before slipping an offcutter through Khalid Latif’s back-foot push. This was enough to constitute a Play of the Day, but Williams’ celebratory jig after taking Latif’s wicket lifted this sequence another notch: feet apart, hips wiggling sinuously; arms in the air for two beat cycles, then a clap; arms up again, and another clap.