ICL: Indian Cricket League

All-round joy for home team


windiesWest Indies defeated Pakistan by 54 runs in the opening match of ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in Sabina Park on Tuesday night.A fine all round performance by Brian Lara’s men saw the tournament’s home team restricting Pakistan to 187 after scoring 241 in the first innings. Pakistan’s captain Inzamam-ul-Haq won the toss and chose to field. Powered mainly by contributions from Ramnaresh Sarwan and Marlon Samuels, the Windies posted 241, accelerating towards the end via a cameo by Dwayne Smith, who hit 32 off 15 balls.

For Pakistan, free-swinging Shoaib Malik top-scored with 62 and was last man out as the crowd erupted in celebration. Till he was there, victory was possible though unlikely.

However, at one stage Pakistan were in tatters after losing captain Inzamam-ul-Haq for 36 to leave the score 116/6 with 17 overs remaining and 7 runs an over to get in them. His replacement ‘keeper Kamran Akmal was out next ball for nought. Non-striker Shoaib Malik was then looking good, and had just come in a couple of overs before, replacing Pakistan’s other major hope: Mohammad Yousuf.

Yousuf fell for 37 just when it seemed he and Inzy would slowly take Pakistan within striking range of the West Indies total. Yousuf was out caught behind after battling for 72 balls and hitting only one four.

Pakistan’s two best batsmen had struggled long and hard to halt a West Indian drive through their top order and settled to reach 64/3 after 20 overs.

Inzamam and Yousuf dug in after the team was reeling in the opening overs against a rampant West Indies attack. Inzy had scored 33 off 58 balls when Yousuf fell and the duo had seen off fast bowler DB Powell, who amazingly bowled all 10 of his overs on the trot, finishing with figures of 2/42. Yousuf was succeeded by Shoaib Malik.

Inzy came in after the fall of the third wicket, that of Mohd Hafeez, who was caught by Lara at mid-on as he tried unsuccessfully to go over the top. Mohd Yousuf was looking solid at that stage, after 12 overs, but the scoring rate had been pulled down. At one stage, only 13 runs were scored in 9 overs till Inzy stroked two superb boundaries. One a swivel pull and the other a super cover drive.

Earlier Younis Khan fell for 9 as Pakistan struggled against the West Indies opening attack. Younis went with his team at 17/2 in the fifth over.

Younis pulled a ball outside off stump off Jerome Taylor and was caught behind off an edge.

Pakistan began its innings in mercurial fashion, with Imran Nazir tonking Powell for six over point and then edging to birthday boy Ramdin. This brought in Younis who slashed to get a boundary. And all this was just in the first over. The excitement continued through the match, with both teams piling up runs in their slog overs. But the Windes were much more disciplined on the day and suddenly, from a thrashing at the hands of India only last week, they look like a team to watch out for in this edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 14th, 2007 and is filed under World Cup 2007.

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