Saturday, April 20, 2024

Windies lose to Pakistan again


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NOT EVEN a four-wicket newball blitz from pacer Ravi Rampaul could prevent Pakistan from earning a three-wicket victory today and taking an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match Digicel One-Day cricket series.
Pakistan recovered from a disastrous start to overhaul the West Indies’ modest total of 171 in 43.4 overs through a responsible unbeaten 62 by Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
Rampaul had raised the West Indies’ hopes with a superb spell, finishing with four for 32 but lacked pace support as only leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, with three for 42, got among the wickets in a match was reduced to 45 overs per innings following a 105-minute late start because of rain.
Misbah’s led Pakistan’s recovery from the early peril of 12 for three, as they finished on 177 for seven in 40.1 overs, winning with 29 balls to spare.
Rocked on 49 for four with Rampaul snaring the scalps of opener Ahmed Shehzad and Asad Shafiq with his first two deliveries for “ducks”, followed by Mohammed Hafeez and Umar Akmal, Misbah stood firm, hitting four fours and a six in a responsible 109-ball.
Rampaul induced Shehzad and Hafeez to miscue hook shots, while Shafiq edged to second slip and Akmal, who a fluent 30, gloved a lifter into the gloves of make-shift wicketkeeper, Lendl Simmons after Carlton Baugh was dropped.
Misbah revived the innings with allrounder Hammad Azam, who made 30 in his first ODI innings as they shared a vital 78-run fifth-wicket stand.
But after Bishoo sent back Azam, captain Shahid Afridi and wicketkeeper Mohammed Salman in quick succession, leaving Pakistan with 24 more runs for victory, Wahab Riaz sealed victory with sixes off West Indies’ captain Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo.
Earlier, the West Indies’ batting woes from the first two ODIs in St Lucia when they only posted totals of 221 and 220, continued from the day’s second over.  
Devon Smith’s susceptibility was off-spin was again exposed when he was trapped leg before wicket without scoring in the second over by the first ball from Hafeez, who again opened the bowling.
The Trinidadian pair of Simmons and Darren Bravo then featured in a rousing 86-run second wicket partnership in 19.4 overs.
But once Simmons, who played some attractive shots in his second straight half-century, hit a tame return catch to off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, the innings fell away. Simmons hit two sixes and four fours in his knock of 51 off 64.  
Bravo once again reeling off some Brian Lara-like shots as he struck three fours and a six in a solid 77-ball 47, but like Smith was another LBW victim to Hafeez.
Middle order duo Marlon Samuels and Kirk Edwards both made 18 but failed to carry on for the third time in as many matches while Dwayne Bravo and Sammy were out to catches at long-off, playing ill-advised shots.
The poor shot selection continued as Andre Russell charged down the pitch and was stumped while last man Bishoo, scooped a catch, attempting a reverse sweep.    


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