West Indies v Pakistan, 4th T20I, Port of Spain April 2, 2017

Walton, the genie, and Simmons' bad friend

Chadwick Walton's riposte, Lendl Simmons' imaginary friend and Kamran Akmal's misery feature in the plays from the fourth and final T20I

Chadwick Walton made Sarfraz Ahmed's dreams come true. Sort of © AFP

The prophecy

"Only big shot coming," Sarfraz Ahmed screamed from behind the stumps. "Only big shot, lads". So, struck by the great urge to prove his captain right, Imad Wasim bowled a long hop, and Chadwick Walton used the depth of his crease, and his giant bat, to great effect as he pulled a massive six over the long-on boundary. All that was missing was the batsman turning around to the wicketkeeper and saying "your wish was my command."

The oddest strike

Amid the flurry of West Indies wickets, one stood out. Lendl Simmons blocked a good length ball and as if he had come to the crease with an imaginary friend, and that imaginary friend had hacked his sense of sight, he began running. It didn't matter that the ball had barely left the cut strip. Or that Hasan Ali only had to take three steps to get to it, and then three more to break the stumps at the bowler's end. Fluffy told him to run and he did.

The T20 microcosm

That inexplicable run-out was but one part of a story that could basically explain T20 to dummies. It began with Wahab Riaz bowling a wide delivery that Marlon Samuels bashed over point for six. The next one was length and was thrashed over long-off for six. Then the over ended, the dust settled and out of the shadows emerged Hasan, arch enemy of both sets of stumps. He ran Simmons out, bowled Samuels and enabled T20 to show itself off. Four balls, two sixes, two wickets.

The bunny

On Saturday, the first ball Kamran Akmal faced from Samuels became his last one for the innings. He might have hoped that, in 24 hours' time, things had changed. Nope. Samuels came on in the seventh over. Ahmed Shehzad took a single off the first ball. Akmal got on strike, was undone by the slowness with which a good length offbreak came off the pitch and was caught at midwicket.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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