Posted by: iccwc | March 14, 2007

WI v Pak – Final verdict…

In the first game of the tournament we had a shock, or did we? Playing in front of a home crowd, imbued by Red Stripe and sense of celebration, those gathered to see the West Indies play roared and cheered every ball as though it might be the last they’d see.

The players one would normally rely on to score the big knocks looked pedestrian, and scraped to jittery double-figure scores. It took the man who commentators have frequently called upon to show his real cricketing self: Marlon Samuels to provide the backbone of the West Indian innings. His 63 was a cultured and sometimes brutal display of batting, laying the foundations for a respectable 241/9 by the island side.

On a pitch which offered more pace than anticipated, the score seemed eminently ‘gettable’ for the Pakistanis. Their core batsmen of Inzi, Yousuf and Younis rival any in the modern age, but on this occasion all three failed much like the West Indian trio, and this proved to be their downfall losing them for a combined total of just 82.

What was remarkable about this victory (or loss) was the way for the first time in memory, the West Indies bowled as a unit. All five bowlers took wickets, and none conceded more than 4.5 per over. They pressurised at all times, giving away little – the West Indian bowlers conceded just 17 boundaries compared to the 28 leaked by Pakistan – and this was the factor which beat the tourists into submission.

If the Windies batting fires, and the bowling remains this strong, we may find ourselves, in six months time, with the first victors on home soil. But there’s still a long way to go…


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