West Indies began their World Cup tournament with a crushing 7-wicket win by defeating Pakistan in convincing fashion at Trent Bridge. The Windies bowled out their opposition for a measly 105, displaying a clear game-plan of testing the Pakistan batsmen with short-pitched deliveries, which proved to be very successful.
West Indies captain Jason Holder won the toss and decided to field first. Pakistani openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman began cautiously. Sheldon Cottrell got the breakthrough by dismissing Imam caught behind for 2. Fakhar played some lovely strokes and tried to put pressure on the bowling side from the get-go, before being dismissed by Andre Russell; Russel also sent Harris Sohail back to the pavilion soon after, putting Pakistan on the back-foot.
At the end of 10 overs, Pakistan was struggling at 45 for 3. After the power-play, West Indies continued to pepper the Pakistanis with bouncers, and the batsmen had no response. Oshane Thomas dismissed Babar Azam for 22, claiming his first World Cup wicket in the process. Oshane Thomas, Jason Holder and Andre Russell provided regular breakthroughs for their team, ultimately bowling Pakistan out for just 105 runs in 21.4 overs.
Chasing the paltry total of 106 runs, Chris Gayle showcased his ball-striking ability, hitting boundaries with ease. Mohammad Aamir gave the Pakistanis some hope by claiming the wicket of Shai Hope for 11, and then getting the better of Darren Bravo. On the other end, Gayle continued his explosive knock, pacing the Windies to 71-2 at the end of ten overs.
Gayle soon raced to a half century in just 33 deliveries, before edging a slower ball by Aamir, which marked the end of his inning. On the other end, Nicolas Pooran scored a quick-fire 34 off 16 and remained not out, sealing the 7-wicket win for the West Indies with 218 balls to spare. Shimron Hetmyer remained unbeaten to ensure his team started the campaign on a winning note.
West Indies - 108 for 3 in 13.4 overs (Chris Gayle 50, Nicolas Pooran 34*; Mohammad Aamir 3/26) beat Pakistan - 105 in 21.4 overs (Fakhar Zaman 22, Babar Azam 22; Oshane Thomas 4/27, Jason Holder 3/42) by 7 wickets.Published 31 May 2019, 19:33 IST