Azam hits another century as Pakistan beats West Indies

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) " 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.

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.

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.

Big-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, which 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.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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