ICL: Indian Cricket League

Pakistan seek series triumph after Yousuf, Inzamam boost


Pakistan and the West Indies will carry out a dress rehearsal for their World Cup opener next March when they meet in the final one-dayer under floodlights today here at the National Stadium.

And both the teams are looking forward to score some psychological points ahead of the March 13 clash in Jamaica and in the process should provide an entertaining finale to this five-match series which Pakistan lead 2-1.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said that his team would go all out for a win after losing the previous game in Multan, a result that kept the visitors’ chances alive in the series. “We just have six one-dayers before the World Cup and we would like to do well in all of them,” he said.

The home team won back-to-back matches in Faisalabad and Lahore after the opening game was washed out in Rawalpindi. West Indies bounced back by recording an emphatic win in Multan earlier this week.

Pakistan are perfectly placed to wrap up the series 3-1 after having won the three-Test contest against the tourists 2-0 with the return of their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf, currently the team’s most prolific batsman. “Inzamam is 98 percent fit and I believe he will be playing tomorrow,” Woolmer revealed on the eve of the match.

Inzamam sat out the last game in Multan after receiving three stitches on his little finger for an injury he sustained while trying to catch Marlon Samuels in the third One-day International (ODI) in Lahore last Sunday.

Yousuf, who had a record-breaking Test year in 2006, did not play in Multan as he opted to stay back in Lahore to be with his unwell wife after the third one-dayer. He has made himself available for today’s game.

Another top batsman Younis Khan, however, has decided against joining the team because of his brother’s death in Germany last week.

“It will be great to have Inzamam and Yousuf back after the disappointment in Multan,” said Woolmer whose team suffered a seven-wicket defeat in Wednesday’s fourth one-dayer.

Woolmer, however, saw the good showing of comeback batsman Yasir Hameed and pacer Mohammad Sami as positive outcome from the Multan loss.

His West Indian counterpart Bennett King is hoping the tourists would fire in Karachi to square the series.

“It was good to find some form in the last match and I believe my team is capable of winning here tomorrow,” the Australian said.

Bennet played down fears that his players might be feeling home sick after spending the last three months on the road saying that they were ready to finish the series with a flourish.

“It is important to end this series with a win considering we would be playing Pakistan in our opening match,” he said.

Going into the final game of the series, both teams were keeping their options open over their playing line-ups.

Pakistan confirmed the participation of Inzamam and Yousuf but said that the exact line-up would only be announced this morning.

The hosts were facing some selection headaches following the return of the big two - Inzamam and Yousuf - which was preceded by some good batting from Yasir and middle order batsman Faisal Iqbal in Multan. West Indies are expected to bring back pace spearhead Jerome Taylor who was rested for the previous one-dayer.

Teams: Pakistan (from): Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Yousuf, Faisal Iqbal, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wicket-keeper), Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Rao Iftikhar, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Abdul Rehman.

West Indies (from): Brian Lara (captain), Chris Gayle, Runako Morton, Daren Ganga, Lendl Simmons, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Denesh Ramdin (wicket-keeper), Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, Ian Bradshaw, Corey Collymore, Daren Powell, Jerome Taylor, Dave Mohammed.

Source:The News

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