Pakistan 172 for 8 (Rizwan 38, Haider 31, Shadab 28*, Odean 2-24) beat West Indies 163 (King 67, Shepherd 35*, Afridi 3-26, Nawaz 2-36) by 9 runs
For the second night in a row, Pakistan's well-rounded bowling attack saw the home side successfully defend a total, and in the process gave the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead over West Indies in the three-game T20I series.
Ten overs into the chase, West Indies looked on course to chase the 173 target down courtesy opener Brandon King's elegant strokeplay, but it all unravelled rather quickly thereafter.
Shadab Khan strangled the batters with 0 for 22, Mohammad Nawaz got crucial wickets, Mohammad Wasim Jr bowled to his plans, Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed three middle-order victims in one over and Haris Rauf dismissed King - and the tenth wicket off the game's last ball - to seal the deal for Pakistan.
In hindsight, though, Shadab's more crucial contribution came with the bat and not the ball. His 12-ball cameo of 28 in the first innings ended up being the difference between the two sides with Pakistan winning by only nine runs.
Akeal Hosein's encore
On Monday, Hosein got Babar Azam for zero in his spell of 1 for 19. Tonight, he indirectly effected Babar's dismissal for 7 when he strangled the run-scoring from one end after Pakistan chose to bat. Mohammad Rizwan tried to look for a run that wasn't there and ran his opening partner out in the third over when they took on Hayden Walsh Jr's arm from backward point. Hosein's stock ball was the length delivery that drifted into the right-handers when the ball was brand new, not allowing them to free their arms.
When Fakhar Zaman came in, West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran persisted with Hosein despite what conventional wisdom suggests for a left-arm fingerspinner. He dragged back a delivery's length - in the first ball of the fifth over - after spotting Fakhar giving him the charge, and the away movement in the air took the ball past the bat for Pooran to stump him. Hosein bowled four straight overs after taking the new ball, and was done for the evening by the seventh over, taking 1 for 16 with 14 dot balls. At the time, Pakistan's score read 55 for 2 and with Rizwan and Haider Ali at the crease, the situation was eerily similar to the first T20I.
A middle-order wobble
But it wasn't to be like the first T20I where Rizwan and Haider struck exquisite fifties to lift Pakistan to 200. Instead, Rizwan fell for a 30-ball 38 off sixth bowler Odean Smith's first delivery of the match, just when he looked to accelerate. In Smith's next over, Haider was caught at deep point for a struggling 34-ball 31. Neither of those were wicket-taking deliveries though, Rizwan was out to a wide slower ball that he bunted to cover and Haider had almost enough in his shot for a six after heaving a wide ball over point.
The 15th over brought another wicket with Nawaz sweeping a Walsh delivery strongly, but was gone for 1 after finding the only fielder in the deep on the leg side. With three wickets falling for 25 runs, it seemed that Pakistan would miss out on the impetus they needed for a big whirl in the death overs.
Iftikhar, Shadab turn it on
Iftikhar Ahmed, though, stayed aggressive despite the fall of wickets. He came in after Rizwan's wicket, and punished Walsh's half-tracker early for four. He then dealt in quick runs between the wickets in Asif Ali's company. And when Oshane Thomas brought back some extra pace in the 18th over, he punished the tall right-arm quick by drilling two sixes over deep midwicket and long off. However, just when Iftikhar looked to give Pakistan a big flourish, he was caught behind off Thomas' last ball of the over for a 19-ball 32.
With two overs to go and Pakistan having gained some momentum after the middle-overs trouble, Shadab took over. The 19th began with him hitting a four and a six, and the 20th saw Shadab smacking Romario Shepherd over his head for two sixes. Shadab uses the depth of the crease to get right under the ball, and his 12-ball cameo of 28 lifted Pakistan to a competitive 172 for 8.
King's regal innings
His first boundary was streaky, an inside edge down to fine leg, but after that, the opener found his range. Nawaz, who shared the new ball with Afridi, was drilled over long on for six in the second over and Rauf was swatted over mid on in the penultimate ball of the powerplay. In between, he resorted to safe shots along the ground while hitting occasional fours after watching Shai Hope and Shamarh Brooks return to the dugout for low scores.
While King got on top of the bowlers, the No. 4 Pooran struggled to hit the gaps. He scored only 20 runs in his first 24 balls. Then came Pooran's first six in the 11th over, cracking Nawaz over deep square leg but was holed out next ball as he tried to repeat the process.
In Rovman Powell's company, King reached his fifty in 35 balls by finding a boundary behind point in the 13th over and then swatted Shadab for a one-handed six over the bowler's head. But like King's previous partner Pooran, Powell was not fluent, and was gone for an 11-ball four.
Nonetheless, with six overs to go and six wickets in hand, the target was within touching distance for West Indies, more so with King out there and the line-up possessing big hitters right up to No. 9. He brought the equation down to 55 off 29 after smacking Rauf over deep midwicket for six, but just like Pooran, was out next ball trying to repeat a maximum. His 43-ball 67, though, had set the base for rest of West Indies' batters to get to the target with a few big shots every over.
Shaheen too hot for West Indies
But Afridi still had two overs up his sleeve when West Indies needed 46 off 24, and the first of them brought three wickets. Odean found Asif on the boundary line, Dominic Drakes edged one to Rizwan and an almost-yorker rattled Walsh's stumps. The score of 127 for 5 now read 131 for 8, only one result likely from here on.
But Romario Shepherd had one last throw of the dice. After pumping a six in the 18th and a four in the 19th, the equation read 23 off the last over that was to be bowled by Rauf.
Shepherd eked out two off the first ball and followed it up with a six over square leg. After refusing the No. 11 a single, Shepherd then found the third-man boundary to bring the equation down to 11 off two. The fifth ball had four written all over it after Shepherd drilled a shot over cover, but Asif ran along the boundary line and got his thigh in the way to stop the four. And with the No. 11 on strike for the final ball, Rauf ensured Pakistan claimed all ten wickets for the second night in a row by bowling a yorker that was too good for Oshane.