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Azhar Ali, Babar Azam slam tons as Pakistan whitewash West Indies

Azhar Ali, Babar Azam slam tons as Pakistan whitewash West Indies
Azhar Ali led from the front with a splendid century
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan 308-6 (Azam 117) beat
West Indies 172 (Ramdin 37) by 136 runs
Third One-Day International, Abu Dhabi

Azhar Ali led from the front with a breezy century while Babar Azam hit his third consecutive ton as Pakistan posted a target of 309 runs and bowled West Indies out for 172 and secured a 136-run win in the third One-Day International in Abu Dhabi, thereby completing a 3-0 series clean-sweep.

Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first. Azhar (101) and Sharjeel Khan (38) began positively with a flurry of boundaries as the team posted 66 for naught in the first powerplay.

The pair shared an 85-run stand for the first wicket before Sulieman Benn (1-51) broke the partnership by removing Khan in the 15th over.

While West Indies were looking for a way to strike again, Azam (117) and Azhar dropped anchor at either end. Azhar brought up a patient fifty in the 20th over, taking Pakistan to 144 for one at the half-way mark.

A little while later, Azam also completed his half-century and rallied ahead. As Azam raced away towards the three-digit mark, Azhar reached his century in the 38th over but was castled by Jason Holder (1-63) four balls later.

Shoaib Malik (5) also failed to get going while the score read 239 for three with 10 overs to go. A little while later, Azam became the third Pakistan batsman to score three back to back hundreds in ODIs, following Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar.

However, with four overs to go, Azam became Kieron Pollard’s (1-19) 50th ODI wicket. Pakistan lost Mohammad Rizwan (4) and Imad Wasim (4) in quick succession but Sarfraz Ahmed (24) stayed unbeaten to push the score to 308 for six in 50 overs.

West Indies began cautiously in the chase with Kraigg Brathwaite (32) and Ewin Lewis (22) adding 45 runs for the opening wicket.

Lewis fell in the 10th over. Brathwaite and Darren Bravo (17) rallied with a 30-run stand but the former’s wicket led to a collapse of sorts.

With the run-rate climbing, West Indies lost Bravo, Marlon Samuels (13) and Pollard (11) and were five down for 117 runs in 29.1 overs.

Denesh Ramdin (37) and Holder (26) offered resistance with their 42-run stand, giving West Indies some hope. However, the end came quickly with the fall of Holder’s wicket, which set off a collapse in motion.

Mohammad Nawaz (3-40) saw the back of Sunil Narine (0) and Benn (0) in the 41st over while Alzarri Joseph (2) and Ramdin were dismissed in the 44th over, bringing an end to the innings.

Pakistan bowled West Indies out for 172 runs in 44 overs, registering a 172-run win along with a 3-0 series clean sweep.

Azam took home both the player of the match and the player of the series awards for his record-breaking batting spree.

© Cricket World 2016