Pakistan scrambled a four-wicket victory off the penultimate ball in the fifth and final one-day international against the West Indies at the Beausejour Stadium on Wednesday.
Replying to the hosts’ total of 242 for seven, skipper Misbahul Haq’s innings of 63 again piloted the visitors to their target although they made heavy weather of it at the end, Kieron Pollard missing the stumps at the non-striker’s end and Saeed Ajmal dashing home for the winning run to the relief of his teammates.
Pakistan take the five-match series 3-1 with one tied and now both teams shift focus to the two Twenty20 Internationals to be played on Saturday and Sunday in St. Vincent.
Misbah, who was dismissed at the start of the final over with the scores level, took both the player-of-the-match and the player-of-the-series awards.
Not for the first time over the five matches, the fate of the match hinged on his contribution with the bat.
But from the West Indies standpoint, they were left to lament a controversial moment when they were convinced that the Pakistani captain was caught off the glove by stand-in wicketkeeper Lendl Simmons off a fiery Tino Best.
On 49 at the time, and with the score standing at 190 for four in the 43rd over, his dismissal then with 53 runs still needed could have been pivotal.
Umpire Paul Reiffel’s not out decision was challenged by West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo but the Decision Review System (DRS) upheld the on-field verdict, much to the dismay of the Caribbean players on the field.
“A key decision went against us and that was the turning point in the game,” said Bravo at the end of the match in a less-than-veiled reference to the Misbah incident.
“I don’t think 3-1 for Pakistan was a fair reflection of the balance of power in the series.”
SCORES IN BRIEF
WEST INDIES: 242 for 7 in 50 overs (Charles 43, Samuels 45, Gayle 21, Simmons 25, Bravo 48, Sammy 29 not out; Irfan 2-34, Junaid 3-48, Ajmal 2-57)
PAKISTAN: 243 for 6 in 49.5 overs (Jamshed 23, Shehzad 64, Misbah 63, Akmal 37; Best 3-48)
Result: Pakistan won by 4 wickets and clinched five-ODI series 3-1 with 1 tied.
Player-of-the-match: Misbahul Haq.
Player-of-the-series: Misbahul Haq.