Windies 'bump out' Pakistan in W/Cup opener

It wasn't a case of Pak­istan Zind­abad but a case of Pak­istan play­ing bad, as West In­dies of old came to Trent Bridge to whip Pak­istan by sev­en wick­ets in their first match of the 2019 ICC World Cup in Eng­land yes­ter­day.

The In­ter­na­tion­al Crick­et Coun­cil (ICC) had put a no­tice in the me­dia cen­tre that lunch would be served be­tween the hours of 2 pm to 4 pm ear­li­er in the day. Well, we didn't even get to that, as the game was fin­ished be­fore lunch.

West In­dies pac­ers led by debu­tant Os­hane Thomas (4/27) rout­ed Pak­istan for just 105 runs and in re­ply, they romped home at 108 for three in 13.4 overs.

Chris Gayle thumped 50 off 34 balls with six fours and three six­es, while Nicholas Pooran, play­ing in place of the in­jured Evin Lewis, cracked 34 not out off 19 balls with four fours and two six­es.

Ear­li­er, the first cheer of the day came from the West In­dies fans walk­ing on the edge of the Riv­er Trent as the loud­speak­er blared that Ja­son Hold­er had called cor­rect­ly at the toss and was send­ing Pak­istan in.

With ear­ly help­ful con­di­tions, both teams would have want­ed to touch the grass first.

West In­dies open­ing bowlers Shel­don Cot­trell and Ja­son Hold­er were giv­en the new ball and with­in min­utes the fans at here at the Trent Bride sta­di­um were be­ing salut­ed by Cot­trell in his trade­mark sol­dier style, af­ter he sent back open­er Imam ul Haq for just two runs.

An out of sorts Hold­er then made way for An­dre Rus­sell and he im­me­di­ate­ly went to work, strik­ing in his sec­ond over with the wick­et of Fakhar Za­man for 22. The Ja­maican all-rounder then got one to lift and bounce to take the edge of Har­ris So­hail's bat and Pak­istan had lost three wick­ets be­fore reach­ing the 50-run mark and were in a spot of trou­ble.

How­ev­er, the man to de­liv­er the prize scalp was Thomas, as he sent Pak­istan's best bats­man Babar Azam pack­ing for 22. At the fall of Azam's wick­et, the score was 62-4 and it was left up to the vet­er­ans in skip­per Sar­faraz Ahmed and Muham­mad Hafeez to re­pair the dam­age. But the Pak­istan duo added 13 runs be­fore Hold­er brought him­self back on at the Pavil­ion End to re­move Sar­faraz for eight via an­oth­er catch to wick­et-keep­er Hope.

Hold­er would strike three balls lat­er when new bats­man Imad Wasim gloved an at­tempt­ed pull for one. The ball lobbed just to the right of Gayle at first slip and he laboured around to pouch it. Hold­er's third over cost just two runs and had root­ed out two more Pak­istan scalps.

Soon af­ter, the mas­sive score­board at the City side read 78-7 when the um­pire's fin­ger point­ed to the heav­ens on an ap­peal from Thomas, giv­ing him his sec­ond wick­et and send­ing Shadab Khan back to the pavil­ion for a 'duck'.

Thomas end­ed the in­nings soon af­ter with fig­ures of 4/27, while Hold­er end­ed with 3/42 and Rus­sell 2/4.

The West In­dies will have an­oth­er five days be­fore the next match against Aus­tralia at this venue and they will be hop­ing their in­jured play­ers will re­cov­er in time.

- by Vinode Mamchan, from London

 

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