Windies whipped


GROS ISLET – West Indies lacked the firepower to defend their moderate total and Pakistan capitalized to cruise to an uncomplicated eight-wicket win in the opening One-Day International of the five-match series yesterday.
After posting 221 for six from their 50 overs, the hosts failed to find the penetration and discipline necessary to smother Pakistan as the tourists easily overhauled their target with over eight overs left at the Beausejour Cricket Ground. 
Misbah-ul-Haq topscored with an unbeaten 73 and shared an unbroken stand of 134 for the third wicket with Asad Shafiq (61), to seal victory.
Man Of The Match Mohammad Hafeez hit 54 at the top of the order to give Pakistan a solid start to their run chase in a 68-run stand for the first wicket with Ahmed Shehzad (22).
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who again looked threatening, claimed two for 48 but even he was powerless to stop Pakistan sealing an easy triumph.
Earlier, left-handed stroke-maker Darren Bravo topscored for the Windies with a patient 67 but the regional side needed a late innings flurry from captain Darren Sammy to reach their eventual total.
Winning the toss and batting, West Indies struggled against frugal off-spinners Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez, and were looking at a target of below 200 runs at 177 for six in the 46th over. But Sammy spanked an unbeaten 29 from 17 balls as West Indies frenetically gathered 43 runs from the last five overs to reach a fighting total.
Playing before his home crowd, the skipper clobbered three fours and two sixes in dominating an unbroken 44-run, seventh-wicket stand with Carlton Baugh (ten).
The innings, however, revolved around Darren Bravo but his knock was a slow one requiring 109 balls and including a mere four and a six.
He too found life difficult against Ajmal and Hafeez and reached the boundary for the first time off his 61st delivery, when he swatted left-arm seamer Junaid Khan over long on for the first six of the innings in the 43rd over.
Such was the stranglehold that Ajmal conceded just 24 runs from his ten overs while Hafeez went for just 36 runs.
West Indies got off to a relatively safe start with Lendl Simmons (24) and Devon Smith (17) posting 30 from 40 balls.
However, the struggle started when Smith played around a straight ball from Hafeez in the seventh over to be lbw, and it intensified when Simmons and Darren Bravo spent 75 balls in adding a further 37 runs for the second wicket.
Simmons feathered a catch behind off Ajmal in the 20th over and when Marlon Samuels was run out for two at 77 for three in the 24th over, the Windies were in a spot of bother.
Kirk Edwards (28) joined Darren Bravo to put on a pedantic 59 off 89 balls for the fourth wicket, with neither batsman coping well against the spinners.
Edwards, in only his second ODI, faced 49 balls without scoring a boundary before he eventually holed out in the deep trying to break the shackles.
And brothers Darren and Dwayne Bravo (14) put together 38 for the next wicket before both fell within three balls in the 45th over, leaving the Windies on 177 for six. (CMC) 


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