West Indies vs Pakistan: 2nd ODI - 5 talking points of the match
West Indies were humiliated by Pakistan in the first ODI, and it was difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel given the manner of that defeat, but they managed to turn it around to level the series 1-1 with a gritty performance in the second ODI.
It was not the kind of attractive cricket that we are used to seeing from the West Indies, or the kind of show that Afridi put up in the first match, but it was something that was definitely required. Dwayne Bravo received a blessing in disguise as Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and decided to make first use of the surface.
The West Indian captain talked about the need of batting without pressure and putting a total on the board. He led the team in doing the same, remaining undefeated with a contribution of 43 valuable runs to take the side to a competitive total of 232.
Pakistan, on the other hand, failed to iron out the flaws that they have been vulnerable to in the recent past. They had failed to score a total of 200 runs in the three matches of the Champions Trophy that they played, and they only scraped through to 224 in the first match of this series.
It was thus always going to be a tough task chasing a moderate total of 232 runs on a slow wicket. Their bowling effort was not splendid either considering they gave away almost 40 runs in extras, except the spin bowling of Shahid Afridi who was miserly and threatened the batsmen throughout his spell.
Here are five talking points generated from the match:
West Indies needed a batsman to take some responsibility and anchor the innings in a side that is full of hard-hitting batsmen. Darren Bravo has been criticized for his inability get a big score and rightly so as he has only one century in over 60 ODIs. Though he did not make up for that folly of his, but he made a valuable contribution at one-down when West Indies had lost the critical wicket of Chris Gayle early on in the game.
He steadied the ship with Johnson Charles participating in an 80-run partnership. He batted through 32 overs of the innings which is exactly the kind of thing West Indies needed one of their top-order batsmen to do. West Indies will be competitive in this series if they can find a player to perform that role in every match as Pakistan have not been consistent with the bat themselves.