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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Pakistan rout Windies to enter semis

Pakistan rout Windies to enter semis

Last updated on: March 23, 2011 20:25 IST

- Scorecard

Nineteen years back, in the 1992 World Cup, the West Indies, inspired by a young Brian Lara, demolished Pakistan by 10 wickets, in Melbourne.

Though Pakistan went on to win that tournament, the abovementioned defeat marked one of the low points of an otherwise successful campaign.

- World Cup coverage

On Wednesday, the latter replied in the same coin, scoring an empathic 10-wicket win in the first quarter-final at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur.

The former champions reached their target (113) without losing a wicket and a whopping 175 balls (29.1 overs) to spare.

Mohammad Hafeez was unbeaten on 61. Giving him company was Kamran Akmal, on 49. The duo's partnership was Pakistan's highest in the tournament for the opening wicket.

Pakistan's win kept the prospect of a mouth-watering semi-final against arch rivals India in Mohali (March 30) intact. 

India plays three-time defending champions Australia in the second quarter-final on Thursday.

It was only Pakistan's third win (in nine matches) over the West Indies in the World Cup and their very first over the Caribbeans (in five matches) in the knock-out stage of an ICC event. Overall, it was Pakistan's 49th win over the West Indies against 64 defeats.

Pakistan's victory also marked the 15th instance when a team won chasing a total under lights on this ground. Only five teams have won a day/night encounter at this venue batting first.

Earlier, opting to bat first after winning the toss, the West Indies could only muster 112, falling well short of playing their quota of overs --  they batted for just 43.3 of their stipulated 50 overs.

Pakistan meted out the same treatment that the West Indies had to co-hosts Bangladesh earlier in the tournament. Only, it was a bigger stage this time.

Shahid AfridiThe West Indies just about avoided being dismissed for their lowest World Cup total – 93 against Kenya in Pune in the 1996 edition -- while also surpassing their lowest ever score against Pakistan -- the 103 they scored in Melbourne in 1997. Shivnarine Chanderpaul top-scored for them with a defiant unbeaten 44.

Shahid Afridi (9.3-1-30-4), Mohammad Hafeez (10-3-16-2) and Saeed Ajmal (8-1-18-2) shared eight wickets between them as the West Indies' inability to tackle spin came to the fore.

West Indies innings:

The West Indies got off to a disastrous start when Chris Gayle (8) hit a Gul delivery straight to Afridi at mid-off. The Caribbeans had lost their most potent weapon inside three overs, with just 14 runs on the board.

And there was a double blow in store.

Mohammad Hafeez, opening the bowling with Gul, struck twice in his third over, getting both Devon Smith (7) and Darren Bravo (0) out leg before.

The scoring rate palpably dropped thereafter.

After 10 overs, the West Indies had crawled to 18 for three, the lowest total in the mandatory power play in this World Cup.

In fact, when Sarwan took a single off Wahab Riaz in the 11th over, it was the first single scored in nine balls. And when he hit the same bowler to the fine-leg fence in the latter's next, it marked West Indies' first boundary in 10 overs.

Sarwan ensured the wait for the next wasn't a long one, smashing Riaz through extra cover two balls later.

The 30-year-old had a reprieve, on 14, when Gul dropped an easy catch at extra cover (off Afridi).

The West Indies crawled to the 50-run mark in the 21st over. Then disaster struck again.

Afridi, who had troubled Sarwan throughout, eventually got him in his fourth over, the latter hitting straight to Umar Akmal at point.

Sarwan's patient 68-ball knock included just two boundaries; his dismissal meant the end of a 42-run partnership for the fourth wicket, a stand that helped the Caribbeans, to an extent, recover from a woeful start.

It also gave Pakistan's captain his 18th wicket of the tournament. He didn't have to wait long for his 19th and 20th victims.

They came in the form of Kieron Pollard (1), caught behind, and Devon Thomas (0), trapped in front of the wicket.

Darren Sammy (1) was dropped by Younis Khan at slips, when on one. However, the Caribbean captain didn't make Saeed Ajmal wait long for his first wicket, as he was out leg before two balls later.

Three balls later, Ajmal rattled Devendra Bishoo's (0) stumps.

Chanderpaul and Kemar Roach (16) added 40 valuable runs (in 14.3 overs) for the ninth wicket to give the Caribbean total a semblance of respectability.

Pakistan innings: 

Chasing a modest total, Pakistan got off to a flying start, their openers, Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal, plundering 30 runs off the first three overs.

As if their poor batting effort was not enough, the West Indies backed up with an abject display on the field.

Kieron Pollard dropped Akmal at point (off Roach) when the latter was on six. And Devon Thomas dropped Hafeez (off Roach again) when the latter was on 17.

Akmal and Hafeez, after a couple of quiet overs, completed the 50-run partnership for the opening wicket, the latter hitting Devendra Bishoo for two boundaries to ensure the same.

And it took them a few more overs to pocket the match. In the process Hafeez registered his eighth ODI half century, his second against the West Indies.

It was the 30-year-old's maiden World Cup fifty. His 64-ball knock was inclusive of 10 hits to the fence.

Alas, the Caribbean total was so meager that it didn't allow Akmal to reach what would otherwise have been a well-deserved fifty.

Some time during the match a colleague from Pakistan said Bangladesh would have put up a better show than the West Indies.

Can't help but agree!

Bikash Mohapatra in Mirpur