Millennium Post

Pak, West Indies fight to keep hopes alive

Having suffered defeats in their respective opening matches, both Pakistan and the West Indies would look to fix the grey areas quickly ahead of their must-win World Cup game on Saturday in order to keep alive the hopes of making the quarterfinals from Pool B. Starting their campaign on a dismal note, Pakistan went down to arch-rivals India for the sixth consecutive World Cup game since the rivalry started way back in 1992, while the West Indies had a nightmarish beginning, losing to minnows Ireland.

In fact, Pakistan and the West Indies are lying at the bottom of the Pool B table, even behind fourth-place United Arab Emirates on net run rate. Pakistan’s decision to send Younis Khan to open the innings and put part-time wicketkeeper Umar Akmal behind the stumps to bolster the batting lineup against India backfired. Pakistan would be looking to make a lot of changes as they are aware that it’s probably their best chance of making a comeback into the tournament against a lowly West Indies. Chasing 301 against India in Adelaide, Younis was out for six, while Akmal was dismissed for a nought as Pakistan slumped to 103 for five and eventually got all out for 224 in 47 overs. Apart from skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, who scored a half-century, none of the other batsmen could make a mark. Come on Saturday, the Pakistani fans would hope the batsmen get their act together. Their bowling was also no better with offspinner Saeed Ajmal missing from the rank.

Sohail Khan was the only exception with his five for 55 from 10 overs. Misbah, however, would take confidence from the way Pakistan bowled at the death overs against India, who were on track for a 320-plus total. But the bowlers managed to restrict them to only 27 runs in the last five overs. Meanwhile, West Indies also came in for heavy criticism after their four-wicket loss to Ireland. They can take heart from the fact at least one of their batsmen, Lendl Simmons, scored a ton but their bowling attack simply lacked the teeth.
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