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Third ODI: Malik, Hafeez help Pakistan clinch series 2-1

GUYANA: Courtesy to brilliant bowling performance and excellent batting by Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Mali, Pakistan comfortably beat West Indies by 6 wickets in the third and final ODI of the series on Tuesday at Providence Stadium, Guyana.

West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the third toss on the trot and opted to bat first this time. The decision did not do much good for the team as both openers lost wickets after getting steady starts. Lewis (16), Walton (19) and Powell left for 23. West Indies were 68-3 in 18the over. Things were already very slow for them.

Realizing the slowness of the pitch, J Mohammed and Hope took their time and built up a foundation for the lower middle order to play big shots in last part of the innings. The two scored 101 runs for the fourth-wicket partnership. J Mohemmed (59) and SD Hope scored invaluable 79 runs.

Holder (12 ), Carter (11 ) and Nurse (10) struggled hard to get the total to 233/9.

Pakistan were very shaky in the beginning of the innings, losing Shehzad for naught, Akmal for 3 and then in-form Babar Azam left for just 16. Pakistan were 36 for 3 inside 10 overs, feeling the heat big time. In came Shoaib Malik. He along with Mohammad Hafeez, helped Pakistan come out of pressure situation, playing Windies spin trio with magical ease.

An 113-run stand between the two for the fourth wicket made it a lot easier for Pakistan. Hafeez lost the plot, tip-edging one while trying a sweep. He got out on 81.

Shoaib Malik (101*) along with skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (24) took Pakistan to the finish line.

Pakistan won the game by 6 wickets with 41 balls to spare.