Holder points to Shoaib for Windies defeat

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Pakistan batsman Babar Azam may have scored a second century in as many games, but West Indies skipper Jason Holder pointed to Shoaib Malik as the reason the Windies lost the second ODI on Sunday.

The batsmen came together with the score on 40 for two, and proceeded to put together a big century stand. Malik made 90 off 84 balls, and Holder felt this knock was key.

The Windies failed to chase down the 338 required in Sharjah, going two nil down in the series with one game to play.

Holder said afterwards: "If I go back to our innings when we bowled, I just felt we leaked too many boundaries at a crucial stage of the innings. 

"I thought Shoaib Malik played an outstanding innings. He changed the impetus in terms of the middle overs. 

"I think he put us under some pressure in the middle overs which we probably didn't react to as well as we would like.

"Our most successful bowler in the last game was Sulieman Benn and he was taken to by Shoaib Malik.

"Again I thought Shoaib truly changed the momentum of the game there. I didn't think Benn bowled badly but I just think he got on top of Benn at that stage. 

"I went to my two wicket-takers and Sulieman Benn at that stage. He got the better of Benn today."

Holder did have a few words for Azam though, who was the 10th batsman to score back-to-back ODI tons: "I first saw Babar a couple years ago in Under-19 cricket and he scored a hundred against us there.

"He's a good player. I felt he played really really nicely. He assessed the conditions quite well and he took his time. 

"He was able to take his time in both innings. He had lots of overs to bat and I think credit must go to the way he played. 

"Having said that as I said before, we could tighten up a bit more especially on the boundaries that we leaked and I think once we do that we can make it a lot more competitive."

The third and final ODI will be played in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

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