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  • Joseph and Cornwall making progress in High Performance Program

    St John’s, ANTIGUA – WINDIES Senior Team pacer, Alzarri Joseph and WINDIES A team all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall have been in an intensive rehabilitation and fitness program.

    Joseph’s program has been geared towards helping him recover and rehabilitate from a stress injury to his back, sustained during the WINDIES tour of New Zealand late last year. Joseph has already completed four weeks of physical training and is currently on his 16 day of “return to bowling” program.

    High-Performance Director, Graeme West is pleased with Alzarri’s progress and reaction to the rehabilitation program. West indicated “The really positive thing so far is that there’s been no negative reaction by his body to bowling. Roddy Estwick has introduced a couple small technical changes that we hope will help his efficiency and take a little bit of stress off his bowling action.”

    Cornwall, on the other hand, has had a shorter period since starting the fitness program but is making quick progress. He has played a considerable amount of cricket over the last 6 months. However, CWI has identified a window where he could focus on some physical training and he is currently working six days a week with Strength and Conditioning Coach to complete a three-week program.

    West was also pleased with the progress and determination that Cornwall has shown, “He’s progressing very well and will be putting that to the test soon, with some club cricket in Antigua. The ultimate goal is to have him ready for ongoing tours to include, but not limited to WINDIES A tour of the England, CPL, Super50 and the 4-Day League.”

    Both Cornwall and Joseph train at the Coolidge Cricket Ground. Strength and Conditioning Expert, Ronald Rogers is part of the team included in the recovery of both players.

    The program is managed by West, along with Dr. Oba Gulston Manager of Sports Medicine and Science, along with Rogers and Bowling Consultant Roddy Estwick.

  • Afridi, Malik and Perera confirm participation for ICC World XI

    ICC World T20 winners – Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Thisara Perera – were the first set of players to confirm their participation for the ICC World XI in a T20I against the Windies to be played at Lord’s on 31 May. The match is being organised to raise funds for stadia in the Caribbean that were badly damaged following Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.

    Afridi and Malik were part of the Pakistan squad that won the ICC World T20 2009 at Lord’s, while Perera was a member of the Sri Lanka side that lifted the silverware in Dhaka in 2014.

    The three World T20 winners will lend a lot of weight to the ICC World XI side which will see more names being added in what is expected to be a star-studded line-up led by England’s white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, who has already been confirmed to lead the side.

    Shahid Afridi said: “I am humbled to have been selected for such a noble cause. Cricket is one big family and no matter how hard and tough we play against each other, there is tremendous comradery within the group. As such, it is our moral and professional obligation to stand up and support whenever and wherever we can, to assist our members, colleagues and cricket fans.

    “Lord’s is an iconic venue and the perfect location for this match. I have some fond memories of this great venue, having played the finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 1999 and the ICC World T20 2009, and I look forward to visiting it again in May with an aim to entertain the fans.”

    Shoaib Malik said: “It’s a matter of great honour and pride to be selected in an ICC World XI and a wonderful opportunity to play along with and against some of the biggest names in world cricket.

    “As much as the chance of figuring in such a select group, I also see this as an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful cause. We have all heard of the damage caused by the two hurricanes in the West Indies last year and it is really good to see so many cricketers come together for the objective of raising funds to repair the damage to cricket venues.

    “That the match is being played at Lord’s makes this event extra special for me. Lord’s obviously is one of the most revered cricket venues but I also have some very delightful memories there. One that really stands out is anchoring the chase along with Shahid Afridi when we beat Sri Lanka in the final to win the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009.”

    Thisara Perera said: “I’m privileged to have made the World XI side for a second time after having also played in the series against Pakistan in Lahore last year. I’m looking forward to the match at Lord’s next month with great enthusiasm as this is one of those rare opportunities when you get to rub shoulders with the best in the world. To be playing alongside so many top players from different countries will definitely be a high point of my career.

    “I’m also very happy because I have been given the opportunity to contribute in what I think is a very good cause. It is heartening to note that players have come together for helping rebuild stadia in the West Indies. The West Indies have contributed a lot to world cricket over the years and they deserve all support from our generation of players.”

    Carlos Brathwaite-led Windies too are a strong side boasting big names like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree and Andre Russell and will be looking to give off their best and show the might that helped them win the ICC World Twenty20 title two years ago.

    The charity match is being staged to raise funds to rebuild and restore five major cricket venues at the heart of Caribbean communities that were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

    The tickets for the match are now on sale at https://tickets.lords.org/ with all proceeds going towards rebuilding and renovating these major venues as well as other community cricket facilities. The venues that will benefit include the Ronald Webster Park in Anguilla, the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua, the Windsor Park Stadium in Dominica, the A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground in the British Virgin Islands and the Carib Lumber Ball Park in St. Maarten.

  • Brathwaite to captain the WINDIES for Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge

    ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Carlos Brathwaite returns to captain the WINDIES in the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge against the ICC Rest of the World XI at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, on Thursday, May 31.

    This charity match is being staged with the support of the MCC, ECB and ICC to raise funds to rebuild and restore five major cricket venues at the heart of Caribbean communities that were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

    Match winning all-rounder, Andre Russell, returns to the WINDIES T20 squad following his return to cricket during the Super50 Cup and the IPL.  Explosive openers Evin Lewis and “Universe Boss” Chris Gayle – also return to the squad following the Pakistan Series along with spinner Ashley Nurse.

    “We welcome the return of the players who missed the Pakistan Series and are delighted to recall Andre Russell to the squad, as we believe he will have a key role in our white ball cricket. Denesh Ramdin and Keemo Paul keep their places after encouraging performances at both regional and international level.,” says Chairman of Selectors, Courtney Browne.

    CWI’s CEO, Johnny Grave, commented “On behalf of CWI, I’d like to thank the players for their commitment to and support of this vital cause.  We’re hoping to raise a significant sum from the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge and are very grateful to the MCC, ECB and ICC, without whom this match would not be taking place.”

    Tickets are now on sale – https://tickets.lords.org/ – with all proceeds from the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge going towards rebuilding and renovating the five major venues damaged during the hurricanes as well as other community cricket facilities:

    • Ronald Webster Park, Anguilla – damaged in Irma
    • Sir Viv Richards Stadium, Antigua – temporarily converted to host refugees from Barbuda following Irma
    • Windsor Park Stadium, Dominica – damaged in Maria
    • A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground, BVI– damaged in Irma
    • Carib Lumber Ball Park, St Maarten – damaged in Irma

    Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge, WINDIES Squad:

    1. Samuel Badree
    2. Carlos Brathwaite (Captain)
    3. Rayad Emrit
    4. Andre Fletcher
    5. Chris Gayle
    6. Evin Lewis
    7. Ashley Nurse
    8. Keemo Paul
    9. Rovman Powell
    10. Denesh Ramdin (Wicketkeeper)
    11. Andre Russell
    12. Marlon Samuels
    13. Kesrick Williams
  • In defence of CWI’s Whycliffe Cameron

     

    We have no doubt that regional leaders, like most West Indians, have the best interest of West Indies cricket at heart. We are also completely confident that president of Cricket West Indies Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron has the success of West Indies cricket at the core of his every administrative strategy. Yet, CARICOM’s cricket subcommittee has a bullseye on his back.

    West Indies cricket has been in decline since 1995 if the 2-1 home loss to Australia in the Test series of that year can be used as the starting point. That marked the first Test series defeat for the West Indies since the infamous 1979-1980 robbery in New Zealand. Mr Cameron took over the presidency of the then-named West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in 2013 – some 18 years after the start of the slide. From 1995, presidents of the WICB included the late Captain Peter Short (1993-1996); Patrick Rosseau (1996-2001); Sir Wesley Hall (2001-2003); Teddy Griffith (2003-2005); Kenneth Gordon (2005-2007) and Julian Hunte (2007-2013).

    It is instructive to note that during this 18-year period of cricketing heartache, with the brief relief of the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy victory or Test series wins against the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, regional leaders never publicly spoke about managing West Indies cricket as a “public good”. Nor did the dissolution of the WICB become such a cause célèbre and a passionate quest for some regional Prime Ministers. So why the feeding frenzy in recent times? It is true that every situation has a time frame when protagonists feel the urge to act. But what is different in the administration of West Indies cricket between 1995 to 2013, and 2013 to the present?

    We believe that the old boys’ club has been replaced by a brash, young administrator, not overly diplomatic, willing to speak his mind, not too concerned about ingratiating himself to the regional political status quo, and this is driving regional politicians up the proverbial wall. Cricket has always been a public good but suddenly CARICOM’s cricket subcommittee has realized and concretized that it is a public good and should be wrested, not so much from CWI, but from Mr Cameron, who has simply rubbed too many people the wrong way because of his style of management.

    He has so infuriated regional politicians that Chairman of CARICOM’s cricket subcommittee and Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves speaks on the need to dissolve CWI and to see the back of Mr Cameron perhaps more than he addresses the prevalence of marijuana farmers in his country. Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley frequently takes time out from worrying about rampant criminality in Laventille, Chaguanas and Point Fortin, to aim darts at Mr Cameron. And in Grenada, Dr Keith Mitchell often speaks of getting rid of an important institution that is almost 100 years old, with the same fervour that he now speaks of ruling his beautiful countrys without an official opposition.

    Dr Gonsalves recently sought to have a meeting with the International Cricket Council (ICC) with respect to restructuring the governance of the game in the region. To put it bluntly, he sought to go to England behind the proverbial back of the regional cricket board to orchestrate its demise. Thankfully, the ICC not only put Dr Gonsalves in his place but put his ploy in context, by stressing that it would not meet with CARICOM’s cricket subcommittee without Mr Cameron present. As an attorney-at-law one would have thought that Mr Gonsalves would have known that the ICC’s stance on procedure was the right one and that stealth was out of place.

    But has anyone sought to examine Mr Cameron’s administrative track record since 2013 and compare it to what obtained before? Mr Cameron is blamed for our cricketers’ ineptness on the field and inept cricketers blame him as well for their own ineptness. This has become the stuff of which successful comedies are often made. But what is the reality in Mr Cameron’s boardroom? The CWI has become more financially viable. Age-group cricket from primary through the tertiary level is played throughout the region with assistance from CWI through its member boards. Players outside those on the West Indies team now make a better living playing for their respective countries as a result of being roped into the money pool. Because of the professional structure of the game, players like Barbadians Raymon Reifer and Kyle Hope can make a West Indies team when they could not even make the team of their birthplace.

    The regional board might not be able to match the salaries to be found in the several Twenty20 leagues across the globe such as the Indian Premier League, but the salaries paid by CWI do not pauperize regional cricketers and these monies have increased exponentially from the days of Captain Peter Short. But Mr Cameron is still public enemy number one because of his supposedly brusque management style. But truth be told, the infrastructure for our cricketers to succeed is much better now than it was in the 1960s or 1980s when our cricket was at its zenith. But the dynamics have changed. Once upon a time real talent equated into thousands of dollars. Today, mediocrity equates to millions. Some of today’s richest cricketers would be paupers in the 1960s and 1980s.

    And therein lies the problem. When being great for our cricketers becomes as important as being rich, then we might start winning again and the bullseye will be removed from the scapegoat.

  • Barbados repeat as Under-15 champions

    KINGSTON, Jamaica – Barbados defied an impressive 98 from Mavendra Dindyal and got past Guyana by four wickets to regain the Regional Under-15 title on Wednesday.

    Chasing 207 for victory, the Barbadians reached their target with 14 balls remaining in the fifth and final round contest at the Kensington Cricket Ground in the urban community of Rollington Town.

    It is the fifth time Barbados have won the Regional Under-15 title, and first time ever, they have won back-to-back titles, following their success last year on home soil.

    Jaden Leacock hit the top score of 47 and Nimar Bolden supported with 42 to share a half-century second-wicket stand to put the Barbadians on track for victory.

    Tariq O’Neale however, was not out on 14 and formalised the result for Barbados, who completed the Tournament with four wins out of their five games, losing only to regional sporting arch-rivals Trinidad & Tobago in the opening round, for a total of 26.2 points – 1.7 more than the Guyanese.

    Earlier, Dindyal was the rock upon which Guyana built their total 206 for nine in 50 overs, after they chose to bat in the top-of-the-table decider.

    After they suffered the loss of opener Mahendra Gopilall for a duck, Dindyal put the Guyanese batting on his back and anchored two half-century stands to lead the charge.

    He dominated a second wicket stand of 57 with Shamar Yearwood and gave the innings backbone when he put on 89 for the fourth wicket with Jonathan Rampersaud, but Guyana kept losing wickets at critical stages to undermine their bid to set an impregnable total.

    In the other matches: Windward Islands toppled hosts Jamaica by five wickets at Sabina Park and Leeward Islands edged Trinidad & Tobago by runs at Melbourne Oval.

    TOURNAMENT WINNERS (Host in brackets)

    1996 – Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago)

    1997 – Barbados (St. Lucia)

    1998 – Guyana (Jamaica)

    1999 – Guyana (Guyana)

    2000 – Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago)

    2001 – Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago)

    2002 – Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago)

    2003 – No winner (Jamaica)

    2004 – Barbados (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)

    2005 – Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago)

    2006 – Jamaica (Antigua & Barbuda)

    2007 – Windward Islands (Trinidad & Tobago)

    2008 – Jamaica (Dominica)

    2009 – Jamaica (Trinidad & Tobago)

    2010 – Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago)

    2011 – Jamaica (Trinidad & Tobago)

    2012 – Barbados (St. Kitts & Nevis)

    2013 – Trinidad & Tobago (Jamaica)

    2014 – Guyana (Jamaica)

    2015 – Guyana (Guyana)

    2016 – Trinidad & Tobago (Grenada)

    2017 – Barbados (Barbados)

    2018 – Barbados (Jamaica)

  • Stafanie Taylor moving up in the record books

    ST. JOHN’S, Antigua- WINDIES Women’s captain, Stafanie Taylor was elated and surprised when she found out about her latest record. As one who is always focused on team achievements before individual accolades, she displayed typical modesty on handling the news that she is now 5th on the all-time women’s scorers list in One Day Internationals describing it as a “pleasant surprise.”

    Taylor is hoping that her achievements “can inspire the younger generation of cricketers in the Caribbean to go after their dreams of playing international cricket.”

    Taylor moved up in the record books to fifth place on the all-time top women’s scorers in ODI cricket during the recent ODI series vs New Zealand. Taylor surpassed New Zealand’s Debbie Hockley to move into the top 5 with 4,230 career runs. The list is still topped by Mithali Raj of India with 6295 runs.

    That was not Taylor’s only achievement, she also in second place in Women’s T20 career runs with 2,582 runs, just 24 runs short of becoming the all-time leading scorer in Twenty20 Women’s cricket. Charlotte Edwards of England who is now retired, holds the top spot with 2,605 runs.

    The International Cricket Council released their latest player rankings for the ODI and T20 formats and the WINDIES Women continue to dominate and do well. Taylor maintains her number 1 ranking in T20 batting while Deandra Dottin stays in 5th place. Hayley Matthews also remains the number 1 ranked T20 all-rounder followed by Dottin in 2nd and Taylor in 3rd. Matthews is 3rd in the T20 bowling rankings.

    Still reeling from the disappointing tour of New Zealand, Taylor is taking this achievement in stride, as she hopes her team will rebound to successfully defend their title in November this year. The 2018 ICC World T20 Championships will be hosted in Guyana, St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda.

  • Windies performance still not up to scratch: Mohammed

    KARACHI, Pakistan, CMC – West Indies captain Jason Mohammed was left once again to lament his side’s poor performance, after they slipped to a second defeat in as many days here Monday, to concede the three-match series to Pakistan.

    Chasing an improbable target of 206, West Indies were dismissed for 123 with four balls remaining at the National Stadium, to lose by 82 runs.

    The defeat followed on from Sunday’s 143-run crushing loss in the opening Twenty20 International at the same venue, when the Caribbean side’s batting also failed miserably.

    “It was still a disappointing performance with both bat and ball,” said Mohammed.

    “Yes, it was a little better with the bat but still not good enough to get in a good performance and get us over the line.”

    Opting for first knock, Pakistan effectively batted the reigning World champions out of the contest when they piled up 205 for three from their 20 overs – their highest-ever total in T20 Internationals.

    They were spearheaded by opener Babar Azam who stroked 97 not out while Hussain Talat, in only his second international following his debut on Sunday, struck 63 to record his maiden half-century.

    And with the Windies bowlers once again inconsistent, Mohammed said containing Pakistan had proven difficult.

    “We try to set aggressive fields and try to pick up a couple wickets early and then coming down to the end you have to defend but it’s difficult at times especially when the batters are going well,” said the 31-year-old.

    The three-match series will wrap up on Tuesday with the final T20I at the National Stadium, completing the first bilateral tour on Pakistani soil in nine years following the terrorist attack on a Sri Lankan team bus which led to a cessation of international matches in the country.

    Owing to security concerns, the matches have been played back-to-back, with the Windies having arrived late Saturday night and scheduled to leave immediately following the final match.

    Mohammed, standing in for regular skipper Carlos Brathwaite who was one of several senior players opting out of the series, said the Windies were hoping to finish the tour on a high.

    “Hopefully we can put in a good performance before we go home and go back with a victory,” he explained. “It would be nice to finish [the series] 2-1, in the position we’re in right now.”

  • Windies fall to second defeat against Pakistan

    KARACHI, Pakistan, CMC – An out-of-sorts West Indies fared little better in the second Twenty20 International, producing another insipid display in an 82-run defeat, to concede the three-match series to Pakistan here Monday.

    Only 24 hours after being dismissed for their lowest-ever T20 total and suffering the second heaviest defeat in the format, West Indies once again failed to show any enterprise, crashing to 123 all out with four balls left, in pursuit of an intimidating 206 at the National Stadium.

    Opener Chadwick Walton belted a top score of 40 from 29 balls but veteran Denesh Ramdin with 21 was the only other batsman to make it past 20.

    The Windies found their scoring restricted early on and crawled to 92 for three before the presssure told and they lost their last seven wickets for 31 runs.

    Left-arm seamer led the hosts attack with three for 22 while seamer Hussain Talat (2-12) and leg-spinner Shadab Khan (2-23) supported with two wickets apiece.

    Babar Azam had earlier narrowly missed out on a maiden T20 International hundred when he finished unbeaten on 97 as Pakistan piled up 205 for three off their 20 overs – their highest-ever T20 total while passing the 200-run mark for a second straight game.

    Talat, who debuted on Sunday, stroked 63 to also take advantage of a ragged Windies bowling effort which mirrored Sunday’s performance.

    Opting to bat first, Pakistan suffered an early loss when Fakhar Zaman perished for six in the second over with the score on 11, gloving a pull at seamer Rayad Emrit through to wicketkeeper Ramdin.

    However, immediate further success proved illusive as Babar and Talat combined in an excellent 119-run, second wicket stand which put Pakistan in a commanding position.

    The right-handed Babar, dropped by Samuel Badree at square leg on 78 in the 17th over from seamer Kesrick Williams, struck 13 fours and a six in a 58-ball knock.

    Talat, meanwhile, faced 41 balls and carved out eight fours a six before being brilliantly hauled in at point by captain Jason Mohammed, to give debutant medium pacer Odean Smith his first international wicket.

    Babar then anchored two key partnerships which left the Windies in disarray, putting on 47 off 18 balls for the third wicket with Asif Ali (14) before adding a further 38 off 18 deliveries in an unbroken fourth wicket stand with Shoaib Malik (17 not out).

    Faced with a daunting target, the Windies lost Andre Fletcher cheaply in the third over for one, chopping on to left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz with 11 runs on the board.

    Walton, however, inspired the best stand of the innings when he posted 39 for the second wicket with Marlon Samuels who made 12, as West Indies tried to stabilise.

    The right-handed Walton counted five fours and a couple of sixes and appeared set for a half-century when he missed a heave at a Shadab googly and had his stumps rattled in the ninth over.

    By then, the required run rate had skyrocketed to 13 an over and Samuels, who laboured for 21 balls with a single four, tried to break the shackles but only succeeded in picking out long off at the start of the 11th over from Shadab.

    Ramdin stepped up the tempo, albeit briefly, hoisting Shadab over the ropes at mid-wicket and then drilling the next ball to the cover boundary in the 13th over which leaked 13 runs, as he added 35 for the fourth wicket in quick time with Mohammed (15).

    But Talat broke the stand in the 15th over, getting Ramdin to hole out to square leg and Mohammed followed in the next over, yorked by Amir as he backed away to leg.

    Tottering on 94 for five, the innings spectacularly imploded in the 18th. Amir knocked over Rovman Powell (3) and Keemo Paul (17) to off-side catches inside the first four balls of the over, and Emrit and Williams then ended up in the same crease at the striker’s end in a horrible mix-up over a second run, sending Emrit on his way.

  • Under-15: Guyana out front after trouncing T&T

    KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Guyana remained the only unbeaten side after they trounced Trinidad and Tobago by 32 runs, to install themselves as front-runners to win the Regional Under-15 Championship.

    Playing in round three here Saturday, Guyana were dismissed for 105 in the 46th over, after opting to bat first at the Windalco ground.

    The innings was tottering on 15 for three before a series of small partnerships – Jonathan Rampersaud (12) put on 23 for the third wicket with Zeynul Ramsammy (16) and 24 for the fourth with Romel Datterdeen (15) – got the total past the 100-run mark.

    Ronillster Perreira was the best bowler with three for 11.

    In reply, T&T were reduced to 73 all out in the 36th over, with Safeik Khan (4-11) and Chanderpaul Ramraj (4-18) wrecking the innings with four wickets apiece.

    At Chedwin Park, reigning champions Barbados climbed their way back into contention with their second straight victory, easily brushing aside hosts Jamaica by six wickets.

    Asked to chase a tricky 168, the Barbadians reached their target in the 46th over with opener Jacob Bethell top-scoring with 53 and captain Nimar Bolden stroking an unbeaten 35.

    Bethell faced 106 balls and struck four boundaries, posting 56 for the first wicket with Jaden Leacock (19) and a further 54 for the second wicket with Micaiah Simmons (24).

    Skipper Sanjay Walker had earlier continued his rich vein of form with an unbeaten 64 as Jamaica, opting to bat first, tallied 167 for seven off their 50 overs.

    They were 60 for three before Walker, who struck six fours in a 104-ball innings, anchored a 63-run, fourth wicket partnership with Javon Nembhard (20).

    Tariq O’Neale (2-16) and Jaden Leacock (2-37) both finished with two wickets each.

    At Jamalco, Windward Islands chased down a paltry 71 to beat Leeward Islands by seven wickets.

  • Windies crash to historic low in heavy defeat

    KARACHI, Pakistan, CMC – West Indies were dismissed for their lowest-ever total in Twenty20 Internationals in a crushing 143-run defeat to Pakistan – the second heaviest loss in T20 history – as the tourists lack of preparation and inexperience was laid bare here Sunday.

    Tasked with chasing an imposing 204 in the first match of a bilateral series on Pakistani soil in nine years, the Caribbean side were embarrassingly bundled out for 60 in the 14th over, marking their only third score under three figures in the shortest format.

    They were slumping at 15 for four in the fifth over and never found a saviour as only Marlon Samuels, of the top six, managed to reach double figures with a top score of 18.

    The innings was rattled by the new ball pair of seamer Mohammed Amir (2-3) and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (2-19), while part-time off-spinner Shoaib Malik (2-13) helped polished off the Windies feeble effort.

    Sent in earlier at the National Stadium in a match played under presidential-style security, the home side piled up an imposing 203 for five off their 20 overs, with debutant Hussain Talat top-scoring with 41 and opener Fakhar Zaman getting 39.

    Captain Sarfraz Ahmed weighed in with 38 while veteran Shoaib arrived late on to stroke an exciting unbeaten 37.

    West Indies, who arrived late Saturday via Dubai and had no practice session, were on the backfoot from early when Fakhar and Babar Azam (17) posted a lively 46 from 30 balls for the first wicket.

    Seamer Rayad Emrit, in only his second T20I after making his debut last December, broke the stand when he trapped Azam lbw with a full length delivery on leg stump.

    Thirteen balls later, Fakhar, who lashed six fours and a six off 24 deliveries, was run out after backing up too far at the non-striker’s end, leaving Pakistan on 65 for two in the eighth.

    However, Talat and Sarfraz then combined to dent the Windies hopes of slowing the scoring, adding 75 for the third wicket off a mere 49 balls.

    The 22-year-old Talat faced 37 balls and counted two fours and a six while Sarfraz punched four fours and a six in a 22-ball knock.

    Talat’s demise in the 16th over saw three wickets tumble for 17 runs in the space of 11 deliveries but Shoaib once again proved his weight in gold, smashing four fours and a pair of sixes in an exhilarating 14-ball cameo, as Pakistan got 47 off 17 balls in an unbroken fourth wicket stand involving Faheem Ashraf (16 not out).

    The Windies innings began with the same tone set by their bowlers. Chadwick Walton blasted the first delivery from Nawaz over the ropes at square leg but then skied the fourth ball to long-off without adding to the total.

    Amir then snatched two key wickets in the second over as both Andre Fletcher and captain Jason Mohammed drove to Talat at cover in the space of three deliveries to depart without scoring.

    When Denesh Ramdin, in his first match for West Indies in 18 months, whipped pacer Hasan Ali off his pads to Nawaz at mid-wicket also without scoring, the innings was descending into free fall.

    Rovman Powell (5) tugged a return catch to leg-spinner Shadab Khan in the seventh over and veteran Marlon Samuels, who looked the most promising of the lot with three boundaries in a 19-ball 18, skied one from Nawaz to point at the end of the eighth over, to leave the innings in dire straits.

    Emrit (11) and Keemo Paul (10 not out) held up the inevitable in an 18-run stand – the best of the innings – before Shoaib triggered the final slide.

    The second match is scheduled for the same venue on Monday.