Babar Azam hit his second successive century as Pakistan beat the West Indies by 59 runs on Sunday in the second one-day international for an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. (Scorecard)Azam followed his hundred in the first ODI with 123 off 126 balls in Pakistan’s highest ODI total of 337/5 against the West Indies.Darren Bravo (61) and Marlon Samuels (57) were the main beneficiaries of Pakistan’s dismal fielding – with six dropped catches – as West Indies fell short on 278/7. (1st ODI: Babar Azam’s maiden ton sets up Pakistan’s big win over West Indies)Azam and Shoaib Malik, who scored 90 off 84 balls with five sixes off Sulieman Benn, powered Pakistan with a record third-wicket stand of 169.”It was a wonderful team effort,” Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said. “We needed a partnership after losing two wickets in three balls and both Babar and Shoaib set the base with intelligent batting.”Sarfraz Ahmed hit an undefeated 60 off 47 balls to give Pakistan’s innings a perfect finish with Carlos Brathwaite and debutant Alzarri Joseph claiming two wickets each.Bravo and Kraigg Brathwaite (39) shared the innings’ best partnership of 89 in West Indies’ chase after losing opening batsman Johnson Charles in Mohammad Amir’s first over.But West Indies never looked like reaching the target despite Azhar Ali dropping Bravo on 43 and then Samuels being twice let off the hook before he had completed his half century.Hasan Ali brilliantly ran out Bravo off a direct throw at the non-striker’s end.Wahab Riaz (2/48) clean bowled Samuels off a delivery which kept low.advertisementBig-hitter Kieron Pollard (22) looked troubled with the asking rate going beyond 12 an over before he holed out in the deep as Pakistan kept the pressure on through their seamers.”It’s obviously an improved performance, but we would have been better off perhaps chasing a smaller total had we avoided giving away boundary balls,” West Indies captain Jason Holder said. “It was difficult to come in and hit from ball one.”Earlier, Azam and Malik made an impressive recovery after Pakistan lost both openers with the total on 40 in the space of three deliveries.Malik used his feet well against the spinners and hit Benn for three successive sixes in one over before he was caught at backward point against the run of play.Azam completed his century off 111 balls but perished while looking for quick runs and holed out in the deep in the 46th over.Pakistan, who routed the West Indies 3-0 in the Twenty20 series, won the first match by 111 runs.The third and final ODI will be played at Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
PHOENIX — Gerald Green, the Phoenix Suns’ free-spirited guard and designated gunner, came off the bench on Nov. 12 night and scored a season-high 28 points as the Suns erased a 19-point deficit to beat the Brooklyn Nets 112-104.As is often the case with Green, he didn’t have the greatest shot selection. He went 7-of-15, including just 3-of-9 from 3-point range. But he hit 11-of-12 free throw attempts.Isaiah Thomas added 17 points off the bench for the Suns. Thomas and Green picked up the slack for starting point-guard duo of Eric Bledsoe (11 points, seven turnovers) and Goran Dragic (18 points, six assists), who weren’t clicking.Joe Johnson led the Nets with 21 points, Mirza Teletovic scored 16 and had seven rebounds, and Brook Lopez had 16 points but only three rebounds. Kevin Garnett added 12 points and 10 rebounds.In addition to his scoring, Green was solid on defense. He stole the ball from Johnson and started a fast-break layup, and three-point play by Goran Dragic for a decisive 106-99 lead with 1:57 left.“I don’t think Joe saw me,” Green said. “I had an opportunity to go for a steal. I know I make a lot of mistakes in a game. I’m trying to limit my mistakes. I’m not trying to add another. I got the steal. I saw the fast break. I tried to give it up to my teammates.”The Nets, though they entered the game as a higher-scoring team than the Suns (104.7 to 103.7), vowed before the game to slow the fast pace that the Suns prefer.It worked for a half. Then the Nets gradually gave in to the Suns’ preferred pace, Thomas and Green went to work, and the Suns made their move and took over the game.Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said he showed the Suns video clips of their defensive lapses at halftime and told his players, “If we take it up a notch defensively, we’ll have a chance to win the game.”It worked. The Nets also gradually gave in to the Suns’ preferred pace.“In the second half, we just got into a rut. We obviously couldn’t get stops, and we couldn’t score,” Johnson said. .”That is probably the toughest part. We couldn’t come up with the big plays. To blow such a big lead, that is hard to swallow.”TweetPinShare0 Shares