Shai Hope

FIST BOUNCE: West Indies batters Shamarh Brooks, left, and Shai Hope during their 154-run second wicket stand in the first ODI against Pakistan in Multan on Wednesday. Brooks scored 70 and Hope made 127. The pair will be looking for more runs in the second ODI today at the same venue. —Photo: CWI

Getting Babar Azam out early will be key for the West Indies if they are to level the three-match ODI series against Pakistan in Multan today and having gotten a taste of the conditions in their five-wicket loss on Wednesday, the visitors are keen on “coming up with better plans” to deal with the opposition in the second match bowling off today at the same venue from 7 a.m.

West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran praised the effort of his players in the series opener, which he said could have gone either way in the final four overs, and he is hoping that if the match does comes down to the wire again, his team will be better equipped to get over the line.

Speaking to CWI media following the game, Pooran said: “The guys stuck it out in really hot weather and in all honesty, I am very happy and proud of the way the guys played. The batting unit has stepped up once more and the bowlers… Alzarri Joseph has been really good and Akeal Hosein has been brilliant as well and Jayden (Seales) has been coming into his own. The fielding is getting better as well so I’m really happy.”

“For the next game, we will reassess and reflect on the first game and come up with better plans as well and hopefully come up with another plan to get Babar (Azam) out early so things could be different for us,” Pooran explained.

After Shai Hope’s 12trh ODI ton, 127, led the Windies to 305 for eight, Azam replied with his 17th century in the format, 103, as Pakistan reached 306 for five with four balls to spare.

“It was a wonderful game of cricket today in a beautiful stadium. We ended up on the wrong side today but we are really proud of the guys. A lot of the guys were on and off the field getting dehydrated but they stuck it out and at the end of the day it could have gone either way, but it wasn’t meant to be,” noted Pooran.

“I don’t want to pinpoint where we actually went wrong. I felt we were always in the game waiting for something to happen. We knew we had to be patient on this pitch and it obviously paid off for us getting Babar and (Mohammed) Rizwan at the end. Obviously in the last four overs, it can go anywhere. Khushdil (Shah) came in and played a really good innings, hitting four, five sixes in the end there so well-played to him. On another day, the ball could have gone up in the air and he could’ve been out and we could’ve been victorious. But today was his day and well-played to him as well,” added Pooran.

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