Venue: Guyana National Stadium, Guyana
Date: Tuesday, 3rd August
BetXChange Odds for 4th T20I win:
- West Indies – 13/20
- Pakistan – 12/10
Let’s just start by saying that this has been a weird series all around. Initially meant to be a five-match T20I series before moving on to the Tests, this was changed to a four-match series with one T20I scrapped dues to a Covid-19 related change in the fixtures in the West Indies One Day International series against Australia. When you add in that just nine overs were bowled during the first match and then just eight balls were possible during the third match – with both falling victim to monsoon-like conditions in Barbados and Guyana respectively – then this section of the tour will end with just two completed matches (if the weather holds on Tuesday) from the five initially scheduled. Welcome to the 2020s in the world of sport.
The one completed match of the three was one where the West Indies won the toss and elected to field and attempt to run down whatever total the tourists were able to achieve. Babar Azam top-scored for Pakistan with 51 runs from 40 balls as they reached 157/8 in their 20 overs. It seemed like a manageable score for the Windies to track down, but they labored hard – despite not losing many wickets – and fell seven runs short in finishing 150/4. Their best was Nicholas Pooran who finally put some urgency into their chase hitting a quick-fire 62 from 33 balls before the hosts simply ran out of overs.
The Windies – ironically – looked the best they had all series in their start to the third match, racing out to a score of 15/0 from eight balls with Andre Fletcher in great form as he reached 14 runs from just six balls. They will need more of the same from Fletcher and company if they are to win the fourth match and claim a 1-1 series draw on home soil.
The West Indies batting lineup just has to be better than they were in the single completed match. The form of Chris Gayle is certainly a worry – he has averaged just 22.72 in 25 innings this year – but his class is enough to think he should break out of the slump at some point. The other big issue for the Windies is the lack of their usual opening partnership with Lendl Simmons picking up an injury in the first match and his partner Evin Lewis retiring hurt in match two. This will give Fletcher another chance to show his ability at the top of the batting order.
One of the weird consequences of the rain timing in this series is that in the three matches the Pakistan openers have reached the crease just once as the West Indies were the first to bat in both rain-affected matches. The form of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam has been impressive – as has the bowling – but there are some concerns in the middle order with Mohammad Hafeez averaging under 12 runs per match in 2021 and a number of players with similar issues around him.
This was seen as a significant series for both countries with an eye on the T20 World Cup and the West Indies need this match to fall into the win column for them to have got anything out of it. I like them to overpower the Pakistani bowling and take the win at 13/20 with BetXchange.