West Indies locked horns against Pakistan in the second game of the ICC World Cup 2019. The Caribbean side ended up demolishing the men in green as they cruised to a comfortable win with seven wickets in hand and 36.2 overs to spare.
It seemed as though Pakistan never really arrived to the ground, as they had a dismal start to their World Cup campaign. Right from the toss, everything went right for the West Indies team as Jason Holder opted to bowl first on what seemed like a good wicket to bat on.
Michael Holding in his pitch report had said that there wouldn’t be much help for the bowlers and that it would be a high-scoring game. But Pakistan failed to get that memo, and they lost Imam-ul-Haq pretty early to an ordinary delivery.
Holder, who had opened the bowling, wasn’t at his best to start off as he leaked 20 runs in his first two overs. At that stage, it looked like he would bring in Oshane Thomas to replace him, but to many people’s surprise, he brought in Andre Russell instead.
Russell has a history of injuries and he didn’t bowl all his overs in most matches of the recently concluded IPL. Therefore, not many people expected him to bowl so early in the innings.
Still, Holder backed him, and guess what - he was absolutely phenomenal. He bowled bouncers at a really quick pace which troubled the Pakistani batsmen. In his spell of three overs, he bowled a maiden and picked up the two key wickets of Fakhar Zaman and Haris Sohail with unplayable deliveries.
Russell’s plan of bowling short was carried forward by all the other West Indies quicks and they reaped rich rewards.
Pakistan were bowled out for 105 in just 21.4 overs, with Thomas being the highest wicket-taker. The Pakistani batsmen had no answers to their short-pitched bowling. They were found wanting against pace and bounce on a good wicket.
It didn’t take much time for the West Indies batsmen to knock off the target as Chris Gayle (50 off 34 balls) and Nicholas Pooran (34 off 19 balls) showcased their hitting skills.
Pakistan will be really disappointed with such a poor performance, and will hope to bounce back strongly in the next game. But it only gets tougher for them as they take on the hosts England in their next fixture.
West Indies on the other hand will look to carry on their momentum in the next few games.Published 31 May 2019, 23:52 IST