Islanders get on Pak's nerves
West Indies eked out a two-wicket win over Pakistan in a low-scoring Group B encounter to start their Champions Trophy campaign on a perfect note at the Kennington Oval, on Friday. Opting to ball, paceman Kemar Roach and spinner Sunil Narine shared six wickets between them to help West Indies bowl out Pakistan for a paltry 170 in 48 overs.
Pakistan owed their total to skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, who laboured his way to an unbeaten 96 and shared a 91-run stand with opener Nasir Jamshed (50) for the fourth wicket.
While chasing, West Indies made a heavy weather of the target before scampering home with two wickets in hand in 40.4 overs.
West Indies lost two wickets -- Johnson Charles and Darren Bravo -- early during their paltry chase of 171. While Charles hooked a Mohammad Irfan (3/32) delivery straight to the hands of Wahab Riaz at fine-leg, Bravo edged one to Kamran Akmal behind the stumps off the same bowler an over later.
Thereafter, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels played cautiously to get West Indies’ chase back on track with a 77-ball 63-run third wicket stand. Gayle seemed to have been bogged down by the impressive Pakistani bowling attack as he scored his 39 off 47 balls balls with the help of four boundaries and one six.
Samuels too did not look convincing and scored his 30 runs off 57 balls and struck three fours in the process. Both Gayle and Samuels looked uncomfortable against off-spinner Saeed Ajmal (2/38). The bowler finally had the last laugh when he cleaned up Gayle with a doosra to drew curtains on the partnership.
New Man in Ramnaresh Sarwan was did in by a terrific bouncer from Riaz (2/42) in the next over as, in trying to fend the delivery, he only managed to edge one to wicket-keeper Akmal.
Samuels then gave away his wicket after doing all the hardwork. He was stumped by Akmal off a Hafeez delivery that slightly drifted away from the batsman.
But Kieron Pollard (30) and Dwayne Bravo (19) played sensibly from there on, adding 43 runs. Denesh Ramdin and Roach eventually guided Windies home.