Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Windies outclassed


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GROS ISLET – New-look West Indies suffered more agony yesterday when they slumped to a seven-wicket loss to Pakistan in the second One-Day International, to fall behind 2-0 in the five-match series.    
Their batsmen, tormented by the Pakistani spinners, could only produce 220 all out off their 50 overs, and their bowling, again lacking penetration, hardly troubled the visitors who strolled to victory with two overs to spare at the Beausejour Stadium.  
Teenaged opener Ahmed Shehzad struck 102, his second ODI century, to lead Pakistan’s victory charge while Misbah-ul-Haq finished off the game with a mature, run-a-ball unbeaten 43.  
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo impressed again for the losers, snatching two for 36 but was the only bowler to trouble the Pakistani batsmen.  
Earlier, opener Lendl Simmons top scored with 51 as West Indies, sent in to bat, faltered after looking set to get a decent total at 108 for three in the 24th over. But the hosts lost their last seven wickets for 112 runs to collapse badly with only Marlon Samuels (29) and tail-ender Kemar Roach (24) getting past 20.  
Off-spinners Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez, the tormentors from Saturday’s opening ODI, returned again to undermine the innings with incisive spells.  
Ajmal bowled superbly to finish with two for 23 from his 10-over quota and was backed up again by Hafeez who snared two for 38 from 10.  
Leg-spinner and captain Shahid Afridi chipped in with two for 41 while seamer Wahab Riaz finished with two for 39.  
Simmons, who struck four fours and two sixes off 48 balls, put on an easy 24 for the first wicket with Devon Smith (16), to get West Indies up and running.  
The left-handed Smith whacked a four and a six over wide long-on and looked to be getting into stride before he perished in the sixth over. For the second time in as many games, he fell lbw to Hafeez, though replays showed the ball pitching outside off-stump.  
Darren Bravo (12) added 34 for the second wicket with Simmons, announcing his attacking intentions with two glorious off-side boundaries. His innings was short-lived, however, as he edged a cut at Ajmal’s first ball to be caught by Misbah at slip in the 12th over at 58 for two.   
The right-handed Simmons continued to play positively, taking the attack to the bowlers in a 32-run stand for the third wicket with Samuels. He reached his third ODI half-century with two runs to backward square but swatted the very next ball from Afridi to Umar Akmal at short cover to fall softly.  
His dismissal signalled the end of real hostilities as the Windies batsmen struggled for runs against the stifling spin-based attack.  
Kirk Edwards (4) never settled and was bowled playing down the wrong line to Hafeez, and a promising 36-run fifth wicket stand between Samuels and Dwayne Bravo ended when the right-handed Samuels came too far across and lost his leg stump to slow medium Hammad Azam at 144 for five.  
Dwayne Bravo (18) holed out to deep cover off Wahab Riaz with four runs added and Carlton Baugh (15) was unlucky to be given out lbw by umpire Norman Malcolm after edging Afridi onto his pads at 173 for seven in the 39th.  
It was then left to Roach, more known for his bowling, to shepherd the tail and get the Windies past 200.  
Shehzad and Hafeez (32) put on a slow 66 off 110 balls for the first wicket before Hafeez slashed a short ball from Bishoo to debutant leg-spinner Anthony Martin at point.  
Shehzad, who had gathered just 72 runs from his previous seven ODI innings, dominated another 66-run stand with Asad Shafiq (23) to put Pakistan in sight of victory. (CMC)

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