|Scorecard:||Pakistan v West Indies|
|Event:||ICC Champions Trophy 2013|
DateLine: 7th June 2013
By Andy Jalil at The Oval
In association with INVESTEC
London – In a match that saw the pendulum swing in favour of either side at various stages, fortune eventually settled on West Indies to emerge winners by two wickets with 9.2 overs to spare in their first Champions Trophy match.
With a modest total to defend, Pakistan bowlers struck early with the 7ft 1in. tall Muhammad Irfan working up a lively pace to remove the first two in successive overs. Johnson Charles miscued to long leg and Darren Bravo edged behind a rising ball in attempting to fend and that was 15 for two in the fifth over.
Chris Gayle intent on playing his typical hard hitting innings lifted Irfan for a straight six and soon after that two successive fours took him to 22. Marlon Samuels settled in to play a steady innings and the two brought the 50 on the board in 10.1 overs. Gayle began to curb his natural instinct of attacking the bowling and he too became steadier as the innings progressed.
The 50 of the stand came from 66 balls with Samuels hitting a four, the first boundary since the last hit 35 balls previously. But their 63-run stand ended with Gayle being bowled by Saeed Ajmal. It was the doosra which Gayle failed to pick. Pakistan struck again in the following over with Ramnaresh Sarwan held behind as he tried to fend a fine rising ball from not too short of a length Wahab Riaz and that was 81 for four.
Muhammad Hafeez drew Samuels out of his crease to be stumped and Pollard edged Wahab behind the stumps, both went for 30. Saeed Ajmal put Pakistan back in control trapping Dwayne Bravo to reduce the opposition to 143for seven and on 165 for eight it had got very tense. But thereafter Denesh Ramdin and Kemar Roach held their nerve to see their side home.
Earlier, with a brilliant gallant effort Pakistan captain Misbah ul Haq took his side to 170 after they had struggled to recover from a poor start. He remained unbeaten with 96 from 127 balls having come to the crease with his team in urgent need of revival. Pakistan, having been asked to bat, found it difficult to cope with the pace of Kemar Roach losing three for fifteen. Imran Farhat began the collapse reaching for a ball that bounced a little as it swung away for second slip to take a fine diving catch. Roach then claimed the next two wickets in consecutive overs and Pakistan were faced with the early task of rebuilding the innings.
They were fortunate not to lose another wicket on 17 when Misbah inside edged a rising ball behind the stumps. Ramdin gathered the ball at first but dropped it and picked it up straightaway to claim the catch. On replay the third umpire decided, on a review request from the batsman, that he was not out as the ball was not held long enough before Ramdin lost control of it.
The left and right-hand combination of Nasir Jamshed and Misbah worked well as they revived the innings. Jamshed, who had opened his account with a beautiful square drive for four off Ravi Rampaul, later played another fine shot for four at cover to get to 28. While he picked up the runs, his partner was playing the anchor role. With the need for faster scoring Misbah opened his shoulders to lift Pollard for six over long off in the 24th over while Jamshed took his score to 40 with a well-timed square cut for four when Roach returned for a second spell. Meanwhile they had brought up the 50 of their stand from 93 balls, a slow progress but not surprising after the top order batting debacle.
The recovery had taken the total to 106 with a 90-run partnership between Misbah and Jamshed when West Indies struck a quick double blow. Jamshed attempted a big drive off Narine without quite getting to the pitch of the ball and lofted a catch at long off. His innings of 50 had taken 93 balls and just as he was going so well he had thrown his wicket with a rash stroke.
Three balls later Shoaib Malik was held for a golden duck and with Kamran Akmal caught behind Pakistan had lost three for five in 17 balls with the off-spinner having taken all three for three in a 10-ball spell.
Misbah brought up his half century with a stylish cut for four from 71 balls. He had progressed to 60 when Pakistan lost the seventh wicket on 128. The next two were run out while Misbah moved on to 65. He had added two more runs when Gayle at first slip pulled off an amazing one-handed leaping catch bringing down the ninth wicket down on 138.
In a last wicket stand of 32 Misbah hit two of this three sixes before the last batsman was out leaving the captain stranded just four short of what would have been his maiden ODI century.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2013 Andy Jalil)