Our Pick Pakistan are favourites to win
Pakistan successfully defended their total of 160 to complete a 16-run win over West Indies in the second T20I on Saturday. The hosts have already wrapped up the series which means that the next game will be a dead rubber - an opportunity for both the teams to test their bench strength. The third and the final match of this T20 series will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Live action is scheduled to commence at 8 PM local time.
Read on for our betting tips and match prediction for Pakistan vs West Indies third T20 international....
Sheikh Zayed Stadium is expected to offer a better batting track than the one in Dubai. 150 or more have been scored thrice in the first-innings of the last five T20Is played here. 163 is the highest successfully chased total and so anything above 160 should be quite a challenge for the team batting second.
There seems to be a definite toss bias here as the side batting first has won the previous four matches at this ground. We, therefore, feel that whichever team wins the toss is probably going to bat first.
Pakistan batted first the other night and went on to win. So their chances of winning this match will increase if they bat first again.
Predicted Score: Around 170
Batting runs deep down till number 8 and even Sohail Tanvir at number 10 is capable of striking a few lusty blows. Majority of the run-making, however, can be expected to come from the likes of Khalid Latif, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed. Latif, who has looked comfortable in both the games with scores of 34* and 40, could top-score for Pakistan in this match. So the hosts should reach the predicted score with a good knock from Latif and handy contributions from the rest.
West Indies have bowled alright but they would need to bowl even better since their batsmen are struggling in these conditions. Of all their bowlers so far, Samuel Badree has the best bowling figures. He has taken a wicket in each game and hasn't allowed the batsmen to get away with easy runs. But the visitors will also need improved performances from both Narine and Bravo if they are to keep Pakistan below 150.
Predicted Score: Around 150
They have been pathetic with the bat in hand so far in this series. The entire top and middle order has failed to score runs expect Dwayne Bravo who hit a fifty in the first match. Charles, Samuels and Pollard are the others who will be expected to take West Indies to the predicted total. Since the pitch should be better for batting, we predict opener Charles to top-score for his team.
For Pakistan, it was Imad Wasim in the first match and Sohail Tanvir in the next who produced match-winning performances with the ball. Wasim took a five-wicket haul while Tanvir was at his lethal best picking up three wickets. Both these bowlers have been very tidy with economy rates under four. Tanvir is taking wickets consistently for Pakistan in T20 cricket and he should be backed to be their top bowler. If these two bowlers replicate their performances, West Indies will find themselves in another big hole to crawl out from.
Pakistan and West Indies have now faced each other six times in T20Is with the former winning on four and the latter on two occasions. The hosts now have two consecutive victories over the visitors in this format of the game. The two teams have never met in a T20 contest at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in the past.
With the T20 series already out of their grasp, West Indies will be playing for pride on Tuesday. They are the reigning World T20 champions but they aren't playing like one at the moment. Though they haven't bowled badly, it is their batting that has let them down in both the games. The Windies batsmen just don't seem to have any answers against this fiery Pakistani bowling attack.
It is true that the West Indies have performed way below their standards, but credit should not be taken away from Pakistan. Their bowlers, be it pacers or spinners, have been spot on and their batsmen have batted sensibly. They have done very well in capitalizing on the T20 win they got in England.
West Indies have not played a T20 game at this ground before. But again, most of the Pakistani players in this current squad too have not played here in the past which neutralizes the advantage. However, one thing that could bother the hosts is their T20 record at this ground. They have won only one out of their four games here and this should keep the visitors hopeful. But then again, they have ended up winning back-to-back matches at Dubai - on a ground they didn't have a good record either.
West Indies, despite the two losses, are still an extremely dangerous side in T20 cricket and they will be looking to end the series on a high. But Pakistan appear stronger in these conditions and so we predict them to win this match and complete a 3-0 wipeout.
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