Home » Cricket, Sports » West Indies beat Pakistan by 37 Runs in 2nd ODI
Jul
17

Pakistan-vs-west-indiesPakistan’s top order didn’t exactly cover itself with glory, but it didn’t implode as it usually does either to keep their team with a chance of overhauling West Indies’ 232 in the second ODI in Providence.

West Indies’ quick bowlers were accurate at the start, with Kemar Roach beginning with four maidens in a row. Jason Holder was also tight, and Nasir Jamshed resorted to some wild mows as he couldn’t get off the mark even after 20 deliveries. He was almost dismissed on the 21st as he edged what should have been a straightforward catch to second slip only for Dwayne Bravo to spill it. Frustrated by the pressure, both openers again tried big hits and both succeeded with sixes over midwicket to finally lift the run-rate above three in the 10th over.

Roach belatedly had success for his probing opening spell, when Ahmed Shehzad edged behind to fail for the second consecutive match on his comeback. West Indies responded by bringing on Sunil Narine, who hasn’t been at his best in recent games, into the attack as early as the 12th over, and the offspinner delivered more of what West Indies have come to expect.

The No. 3 Mohammad Hafeez, also struggling, decided to hit his way into form. There was an inside-edge for four, but he sped along to 20 off 23 deliveries before he holed out to long-on off Narine after unwisely testing whether he could clear the man in the deep.

Jamshed had another reprieve at slip in the 20th over, but was generally beginning to look more at ease in the middle. Misbah-ul-Haq, who only hit one boundary in 121 deliveries on Sunday, hit two in his first 18, including a typical loft to wide long-on to get off the mark.

The required-rate is still below six and West Indies’ weak fifth bowler still has to deliver plenty of overs, which means Pakistan still have a decent chance in the chase, though they will need Jamshed and Misbah to stick around for a while longer before the more flamboyant batsmen lower down take over.

Pakistan’s spinners once again had the West Indies batsmen flailing hopelessly, but Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard finally hit form to set a competitive target in the second ODI in Providence. Darren Bravo had provided the solidity early on to prevent the innings from unravelling as it so often has in recent times, but Pakistan kept the runs in check and a wicket almost always seemed imminent.

At 150 for 5 in the 39th over, with only the inconsistent allrounders to come, the only thing Pakistan had to complain about was some chewing gum which got entangled with the ball, but Pollard and Dwayne Bravo put on 70 brisk runs to lift West Indies’ score to a respectable one.

Misbah-ul-Haq’s hope that his bowlers would exploit the early moisture in the surface bore fruit in the first over itself, as Mohammad Irfan’s swinging deliveries dismissed the out-of-form Chris Gayle for 1. The more gentle medium-pace of Asad Ali didn’t complement the threat provided by Irfan, as he routinely strayed with the new ball to allow Darren Bravo some confidence-building boundaries. Darren Bravo stabilised the innings after Gayle’s early exit, weathering the sideways movement and bounce of Irfan.

Keeping him company was opener Johnson Charles, whose inability to rotate the strike pressurised him to go for the big hits. He had only one single in the first ten overs, which prompted a swat to midwicket off Irfan, and a risky loft taking on the man at long-on in Saeed Ajmal’s first over. He stuck around till the 19th over before perishing while going for another wild Hollywood hit, completely missing the legspinner from Shahid Afridi.

That brought in another of West Indies’ struggling batsmen. Less than two weeks ago, Marlon Samuels had his hands full of trophies at the annual West Indies awards. There is little chance of him repeating that at next year’s ceremony, given his dreadful form in 2013. The struggles were again on display in the second ODI against Pakistan, as he crawled to 11 off 51 deliveries, seldom at ease against the accuracy of the three Pakistan spinners. He was finally undone by a straighter one from Ajmal, and walked off with a shrug, acknowledging Ajmal had got the better of him.

That was Ajmal’s second big wicket, having earlier ended Darren Bravo’s stay on 54 with a doosra. West Indies had sprinted to 49 for 1 after 10 overs, not losing momentum despite a 45-minute rain break, but the spinners slowed them down after that, with the next 20 overs only costing 61 runs.

When the batting Powerplay only yielded 18 runs and produced two wickets, West Indies looked headed for a score around 200. Dwayne Bravo, after overcoming a nervy start, and Pollard, though, showed off their hitting ability – Pollard repeatedly powered the ball down the ground, and Dwayne Bravo regularly pinged the off-side boundaries. The big push arrived when Wahab Riaz was taken for 18 in the 47th over, and West Indies ended up with a total that should test Pakistan’s famously shaky batting.

 

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