Gros Islet, St. Lucia, July 25: Captain Misbah-ul-Haq led Pakistan to a four-wicket victory over West Indies with yet another calm and composed half century in the fifth and final one-day international on Wednesday to clinch the series 3-1.
Misbah hit 63 off 93 balls with five fours and a six for his fourth half century of the series, and opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad scored a valuable 64 off 100 balls to guide Pakistan to 243-6 after West Indies made 242-7.
The Pakistan captain featured in two productive partnerships by adding 66 runs with Umar Akmal (33) for the fifth wicket stand after steadying the innings with 59-run partnership with Shehzad.
West Indies, after being put into bat, was indebted to captain Dwayne Bravo for a rapid 48 with Marlon Samuels (45) and opening batsman Johnson Charles (43) also making useful contributions.
“Pretty satisfying,” said a smiling Misbah, who was dismissed with the scores leveled before Saeed Ajmal scampered home with the winning run. “A win is always good, especially after the losses in South Africa series and Champions Trophy.”
Coming into the series, Pakistan lost all its three group matches in the Champions Trophy in England—including a defeat against the West Indies—and before that it lost 3-2 in South Africa.
West Indies was scratchy in the field with Sunil Narine and Marlon Samuels exhibiting some ordinary fielding efforts and giving away boundaries, but it came close to dismissing Misbah when the Pakistan captain was on 49.
Fast bowler Tino Best (3-48), playing his first match of the series, and the rest of the West Indies players were convinced that Misbah had gloved the leg side catch at the total of 190-4, but he was adjudged not out by television umpire Steve Davis.
“The matches could have gone either way, even today a few key decisions went against us,” Bravo said. “Those key decisions at crucial times cost us.”
Pakistan started off its run-chase in style when the opening pair of Shehzad and Nasir Jamshed (23) put on the first half century stand of the series by adding 51 runs off 65 balls.
Best, who was expensive in his first three overs that cost him 25 runs, came back strongly with three wickets for 23 runs, but Misbah's calmness in the end saw Pakistan through.
Misbah farmed the strike with Shehzad before Akmal cut loose with three successive boundaries off fast bowler Jason Holder.
Earlier, Bravo's knock off 27 balls included five fours and three sixes after Pakistan fast bowlers Junaid Khan (3-48) and Mohammad Irfan (2-34) had mopped up the top order and restricted West Indies to 170-6 in the 45th over.
But Bravo dominated a 53-run seventh wicket stand with former captain Sammy (29 not out) to give West Indies some hope.
Samuels (45) and opening batsman Johnson Charles (43) also made useful contributions, but Chris Gayle's disappointing series ended when he was brilliantly snapped up for 21 by wicketkeeper Umar Akmal with his right hand over his head.
Pakistan will now play two Twenty20s against West Indies at St. Vincent over the weekend.