ICC World Cup 2015: Pakistan v West Indies - Quick flicks of the match
Pakistan’s butter fingers
Pakistan paid a heavy price for their poor fielding in their opening World Cup game, against India, when they gave Virat Kohli two reprieves as he made a century. The Men in Green did not learn their lesson as they gave more demonstrations on how not to catch a cricket ball. Nasir Jamshed was the first offender, as early as the fifth over, when he dropped a catch of Dwayne Smith off the bowling of Mohammad Irfan.
It was to get worse for Pakistan as the usually reliable Shahid Afridi turned out to be the biggest offender on the day. Afridi first put down a sitter offered by Marlon Samuels and then went on to drop another pretty simple chance offered by Darren Bravo. As Irfan dropped one offered by Lendl Simmons Pakistan’s miserable day in the field was complete.
It was not just the catches that were going down; Pakistan’s ground fielding was also pretty ordinary as exemplified by Sohaib Maqsood’s missing of an easy opportunity to run Simmons out.
Perfect team effort from the West Indies batsmen
Not often in a score of 300-plus, would you find the highest individual score being as low as 51. But that was the case in this game as the West Indies put on a consistent batting effort, far from the team that has known to be reliant on one or two special batting efforts to post big scores: Denesh Ramdin and Simmons got to half centuries; Bravo was forced to retire one run short, and things were perfectly set up for Darren Sammy and Andre Russell to provide the final flourish.
And what a flourish it was! Russell muscled his way to a 13-ball 42, and Sammy played his part in an innings of 30.
Pakistan miss their yorkers
The one good thing that Pakistan did show against India was an exemplary display of death bowling, mainly by Sohail Khan and Wahab Riaz. But, maybe, because of the pressure that Russell and Sammy exerted, both the pacers couldn’t hit their lengths, and that resulted in them getting smashed all around the park. The last six overs, which were equally split between Sohail and Wahab, cost Pakistan 89 runs, and West Indies walked into the break with all the momentum on their side.
With Russell known to favour the leg side, Sohail and Wahab could have bowled the wide yorkers to keep him away from his hitting zone – something similar to what they had done to MS Dhoni; however, for some bizarre reasons, they offered plenty in Russell’s arc and the bulky Jamaican took full toll.
Pakistan’s top order falls like ninepins
Within the first 19 balls of their innings, Pakistan had lost four wickets with just a solitary run on the board. That spelt disaster, more so as they were chasing 310. And what will irk Misbah-ul-Haq is the way the wickets fell. Apart from Younis Khan, who got a decent delivery from Jerome Taylor, the other batsman simply didn’t show any stomach for a fight.
Jamshed went for a big shot off the second ball he faced. Haris Sohail flayed at one that was too close to the body. Ahmed Shehzad was lured by the swing into playing away from his body. Not even the calm and composed Misbah could rescue Pakistan, and when his wicket fell with the team score on 25, it seemed as though Pakistan would have a struggle on their hands to even reach three figures – something they eventually managed, thanks to fighting half-centuries from Sohaib Maqsood and Umar Akmal.
All in all, it was a professional effort from the West Indies, and it has left Pakistan with a lot of work to do as their World Cup campaign hangs in the balance.