West Indies batsman Shai Hope hits for a boundary against Pakistan during their first one-day international at Multan Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. LAHORE: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Imamaul Haq and Khushdil Shah hammered brilliant knocks as Pakistan defeated West Indies in the first one-day international (day and night) of the three-match series at Multan Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday. Chasing a formidable target of 306, Pakistan raced home for the loss of five scalps in 49.2 overs. After losing opener Fakhar Zaman at 11, opener Imam (65) along with skipper Babar (103) laid the foundation for victory for the hosts. Keeping his nerves under control, Rizwan also played his important role with 59 off 61 balls while Khushdil’s undefeated and scintillating 42 off 23 balls with one boundary and four sixes took the wind out of West Indies sails. Shai leads West Indies to big total: Earlier, opener Shai Hope’s 134-ball 127 guided West Indies to set a big 306-run target for the hosts. It was his 12th in ODI cricket and one that took him past 4,000 runs in the format. He is the 11th West Indies batsman to reach the milestone in ODI cricket. West Indies, who opted to bat first after winning the toss, lost opener Kyle Mayers in the third over with just nine runs on the board. However, a 154-run partnership between Hope, who cracked 15 boundaries and a six, and Shamarh Brooks (70 off 83 balls) helped stabilize the West Indies innings. The scorching Multan heat – with temperatures soaring to between 40 to 42 degrees Celsius – did not stop Hope and Brooks, who both batted with guts and power. However, a stunning catch from Shadab Khan off Mohammad Nawaz’s bowling broke the partnership. From then on, cameos from Nicholas Pooran (21), Rovman Powell (32) and Romario Shephard (25) helped the West Indies end their innings at 305-8. At the very end, a couple of sixes from Shepherd and Akeal Hosein (08) guaranteed the visitors a score in excess of 300. For Pakistan, Haris Rauf was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, Shaheen Shah Afridi bagged two while Nawaz and Shadab grabbed one wicket a piece. The match marked beginning of a new era for Pakistan cricket with the city hosting international cricket after 14 long years. The three one-day internationals are part of the Super League cycle and both sides are eager to secure crucial points to advance their chances for direct qualification in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. Each ODI carries ten points. The other two matches will be on Friday and Sunday – also in Multan.