Neil Whitaker reports

THE West Indies issued a warning to the other teams in this World Cup by thrashing Pakistan by seven wickets with over 36 overs to spare.

The West Indies bowling performance after they won the toss and put Pakistan in was a throwback to the West Indies of the  70’s and 80’s as Pakistan capitulated from 45 for two in the 10th over to 105 all out inside 22 overs as the West Indies bowled with pace and were accurate .  Skipper Jason Holder took three wickets for three runs in nine balls in his second spell after he had conceeded 20 runs in his first two overs. 

Pakistan were surprised by the pace of the West Indies bowlers and they didn’t like it. Oshane Thomas took four wickets for 27 including the vital wicket of Babar Azam.  Andre Russell bowled with venom, bowled half a dozen short balls in his three overs in which he took two wickets for four runs.  Sheldon  Cottrell took the first wicket and only Carlos Brathwaite was wicketless.

After been told to bat in overcast yet warm conditions Fakhar Zaman hit a leg stump 

half volley off Holder over square Ieg in the second over for the first six of the match.  From there the Pakistan innings went downhill.  Opener Inman-up-Haq tried to turn Cottrell off his legs but gloved him to stumper Shai Hope.  As Inman walked off Cottrell gave him his trademake salute goodbye.

Babar drilled a gentle full toss from Cottrell to the extra cover boundary to get the Pakistan fans out of their seats.  Russell was brought into the attack after Holder’s first two overs had cost him 20 runs and he struck with his fifth ball.  Fakher tried to pull a short ball but as he followed through he played on.

After six consecutive short balls at Babar and Haris Sohail, Russell bowled another short ball outside Haris’ off stump who nibbled at and Hope took a comfortable catch. After that barrage of short balls Sarfraz Ahmed might have expected another one but he did well to dig out a yorker.

On 12 Babar was put down by Shimron Hetmyer at backward point after Babar had  cut Brathwaite and the ball went at a comfortable height to Hetmyer.  After three overs without a boundary Babar pulled Thomas to the deep mid wicket boundary.  The wild pace of Thomas’ first over cost him eight runs.  The drop by Hetmyer wasn’t too expensive, because he chased a wide ball from Thomas and toe ended it to Hope.

After his first two overs were expensive Holder brought himself back into the attack and he struck with his first ball. Sarfraz tried to turn off his legs and Hope took the catch. Sarfraz was given not out but the West Indies reviewed it and Sarfraz was given out.  Holder got his second wicket with the last ball of his first over when Imad Wasim tried to pull him but he got a leading edge and Chris Gayle took the catch at slip.

Shadab Khan missed a straight ball from Thomas and was plumb leg before for a first ball duck.  When Hasan Ali flat batted his only ball to Cottrell at mid off the only question was would Pakistan reach a hundred because now Holder was rampant, he had taken three wickets for three runs in nine balls.

Mohammad Hafeez shaped to hook Thomas but changed his mind and ramped it to Cottrell at fine leg.

Wahab Riaz gave the Pakistan fans something to cheer when he pulled Holder for a six over square leg. Two balls later he smeared Holder to the extra cover boundary and finished the over by pulling Holder for a bigger six to bring up the Pakistan hundred. In the next over he backed away from Thomas to smash him through the covers, missed and was bowled.

Sarfraz said: “With 10.30 starts the toss is crucial, whoever won the toss was going to bowl.  We lost too many wickets in the first 10 overs and we couldn’t come back from that.”

In the West Indies chase Gayle hit consecutive sixes off Hasan Ali, the first lofted over mid wicket made Gayle the highest scorer of sixes in the World Cup and the second was straighter into the Radcliffe road stand.

With the Pakistan fans shouting for Amir as he ran into bowl and the big hitting of Gayle his partner Hope was drawn into going for the big hits and he got too far under Amir and lofted him to Hafeez at mid off.

Darren Bravo played the shot of a man in poor form when he got a thick outside edge without moving his feet to Amir to give Babar at second slip catching practice. Amir had taken two wickets for two runs in six legal balls.

In his previous over Wahab won the battle with Gayle with some hostile fast bowling.  In the next over Gayle had enough of Wahab and smashed him for 14.  He smashed him straight for a for a six and cut the next ball to the cover boundary.  As the ball reached the boundary Gayle felt his back.  Two balls later he ran a leg bye and almost collapsed over the return crease.  After reaching 50 he sliced a pull off Amir to Shadab at backward point.

Nicholas Pooran top edged a short ball from Waib but Inman-ul-Haq couldn’t take the catch as he dived forward.  He finished the match in quick style hitting an unbeaten 34 with 28 of them coming in boundaries.

West Indies captain Holder said: “We had a very good start, the boys bowled really well and got wickets with the new ball and three never recovered from that.  We want to be aggressive against whoever we play.  If you are not taking wickets you are never in the game and you struggle. Every team in the competition is going to be looking at taking wickets throughout the innings.  Russell gave 100% and Thomas was excellent and he has been outstanding for us and his bowling gets faster.

We chose to bowl because of the overhead conditions and we back ourselves to chase any total down  bat deep.”


May 31, 2019 12:00 am

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