Pakistan’s renewed bowling attack worries Windies

Shadab Khan
Pakistan's Shadab Khan celebrates after dismissing West Indies' wicket-keeper Chadwick Walton. — AFP

West Indies players and staff need to join their heads and devise a strategy to fend off the danger posed by Pakistan’s renewed bowling arsenal, Captain Jason Holder said Sunday.

Shadab Khan produced an outstanding debut performance as Pakistan completed a comfortable six-wicket victory over the West Indies in the first fixture of a four-match Twenty20 international series at Kensington Oval.

Put in on a bright, breezy afternoon, the world champion hosts were restricted to 111 for eight off their allotted 20 overs with the tourists knocking off the runs with almost three overs to spare to extend their T20 winning streak over their rivals to four following a 3-0 sweep in the United Arab Emirates last September.

Brought on as the fifth bowler when the West Indies batted in what looked like ideal conditions, 18-year-old Shadab’s mesmerising mixture of leg-breaks and googlies earned him figures of three for seven, the most economical ever in the history of T20 international cricket by a debutant in a complete four-over spell.

“We need to just sit down and work out our plans against all their bowlers,” Holder said.

“Obviously we are coming up against some guys who we have never played. In this situation, we need to find how best to play them given the conditions that we have,” he added.

Shadab removed opening batsman and wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton and dangerous middle-order strokeplayer Lendl Simmons in his first over before adding the scalp of Sunil Narine in his second.

“We struggled with their slow bowlers, and it’s a situation where we need to counteract their slow bowlers in the middle. Those were the guys who really put the strangle on us up front,” said the West Indies skipper.

Holder and company will have a chance to level the series 1-1 when they take on Pakistan in the second T20 on Thursday.