Pakistan on Monday became the first men's team to win 18 T20 international matches in a calendar year as they beat West Indies by 63 runs in the first game of the three-match series. The Men in Green bettered their 2018 record where they had notched up 17 T20I victories.
Put in to bat first at the National Stadium, Karachi, Mohammad Rizwan (78) and Haider Ali (68) put on a dominant batting performance, helping the hosts put up 200 on the board.
Despite losing three wickets in three overs, Pakistan finished strongly, courtesy of quick-fire 30* off just 10 balls by Mohammad Nawaz. In reply, West Indies were bundled out for 137, with Mohammad Wasim picking up four wickets and Shadab Khan adding three to his name.
Pakistan have won 18 T20I games out of 27 this year, with a chance to improve further when they take on the West Indies in the remaining two games of the series. The second and third T20Is will be played on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.
Earlier in 2018, Pakistan had registered 17 wins from 19 matches in a calendar year. Uganda, with 16 wins, are third on the list, followed by the Indian team that had registered 15 victories from 21 games back in 2016. India had also recorded impressive numbers in 2018, winning 14 out of 19 T20 Internationals.
"The way we batted. The way Rizwan batted, and Haider, and the way we continued the momentum. The finish from Nawaz was outstanding. Spinners were getting good help. They put pressure on them," said skipper Babar Azam on his team's performance in the series opener.
West Indies were without pacer Sheldon Cottrell and all-rounders Roston Chase and Kyle Mayers, who were ruled out of the series after testing positive for the coronavirus in Karachi.
Dominic Drakes and Shamarh Brooks were handed their debuts while Brandon King returned to the Windies T20I side for the first time since November 2019. "We gave away 20 runs more in the field and there were a few boundaries off the edges, too.
"I loved the effort and energy from the guys tonight. We are a young side, but it all comes down to execution," stand-in skipper Nicholas Pooran said on the defeat.