LAHORE - The dreaded F-word is raising its ugly head once again in international cricket, with the recently concluded five-match ODI series between Pakistan and West Indies- that Pak won – set to be probed over fixing allegations.

Reportedly, unusually slow over rates during certain overs followed by bursts of high scoring overs have raised doubts over the legitimacy of the contests. Concerns have been raised, in particular, around the tied third match of the series played in St Lucia a week ago on Friday, as well as the final game, which resulted in a last-ball win for Pakistan on Thursday.

The second ODI, which saw Pakistan fail to score a run off the bat in the first five overs after being set 233 to win, will also be looked at. One betting website reported unusually large sums of money — said to run into several millions of pounds — being wagered between innings on a tied result during the third ODI after the West Indies were set 230 to win from 50 overs.

Pakistan appeared to be cruising to victory, with their opponents still requiring 45 off the last 21 balls and only three wickets left. But with the tail-enders scoring at more than four times the rate of most of their team-mates, West Indies scraped the unlikeliest of ties.

Field placements for the final over, when No 11 Jason Holder and fellow tail-ender Kemar Roach crashed 14 off six balls from Wahab Riaz, will be scrutinised by officers of the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), along with a failed run-out bid off the last delivery.

The fifth ODI that saw Pakistan win by four wickets off the final ball, is also to be scrutinised. ACSU officers will also analyse patterns on spread-betting sites around the first 18 balls of the West Indies innings when only one run was scored. Another passage of play, of five overs, when experienced West Indies batsmen Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels were at the crease, will also be analysed in an effort to understand why just two runs were scored from five overs before 16 were hit off the 35th over.

ACSU investigators, who have been criticised in the past for failing to root out deep-seated corruption in cricket, will analyse betting patterns around those overs amid concerns that anyone with prior knowledge could have made a certain profit in the market for run predictions, which are usually based on totals in five-over ‘brackets’.