Ref: Misbah-ul-Haq dug deep and dragged Pakistan to a series-clinching, three-wicket victory over West Indies in the third One-day International of the best of five match series here on Thursday.
Misbah led the way with four fours and one six in an unbeaten 62 from 109 balls, Hammad Azam supported with 36, and Umar Akmal made 30, as the Pakistanis, chasing 172 for victory, reached their target with 29 balls remaining at Kensington Oval.
The Pakistanis were left reeling on 12 for three, following an opening burst from Ravi Rampaul, who also had Akmal caught behind to leave the visitors on 49 for four in the 12th over, finishing with four wickets for 32 runs from nine overs.
Azam joined Misbah and put on 78 for the fifth wicket to put Pakistan back on track before Devendra Bishoo took three for 42 from nine overs to trigger a slide that left the visitors wobbling on 148 for seven in the 36th over.
But Wahab Riaz joined Misbah to edge the Pakistanis over the finish line five overs later, when he swung a short ball from Dwayne Bravo over deep backward square leg for six.
Earlier, Saeed Ajmal had captured three for 29 from 8.4 overs and Wahab took three for 38 from eight overs to enhance Pakistan`s chance of victory, as they dismissed their opponents for 171 in 43.4 overs after choosing to field.
The Pakistanis appeared to be under pressure, when West Indies duo Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo comfortably added 86 for the second wicket in a volley of strokes before Ajmal and Wahab brought Pakistan back into the match, which was reduced to 45 overs-a-side.
Saeed held a return catch in the 21st over to dismiss Simmons for the West Indies top score of 51, and Mohammad Hafeez trapped Darren Bravo lbw for 47 in the 28th over to leave the home team on 118 for three.
But Saeed and Wahab ensured there was no fight-back from the remaining batsmen, as they all failed to offer any substanial scores before a disappointed holiday crowd.
Pakistan played an unchanged line-up, but West Indies made two changes, replacing Anthony Martin and wicketkeeper/batsman Carlton Baugh Jr with fast bowlers Andre Russell and Rampaul.
Play began an hour and 45 minutes later than scheduled, after rain delayed the start of the match on the day that the island celebrates their national heroes, including legendary former West Indies all-rounder Sir Garfield Sobers.
The victory meant that Pakistan have now won their last eight ODIs against West Indies spread over the last four years, including their 10-wicket victory in a recent World Cup quarter-final in Bangladesh.
The fourth ODI will be played next Monday at Kensington Oval with the final match of the series three days later at the Guyana National Stadium.