Wednesday, March 23, 2011

World Cup 2011 .... Pakistan vs West Indies - Quarterfinals !!!

West Indies won the toss & chose to bat. However, they got into trouble immediately, as Umar Gul removed the dangerous Gayle & Hafeez removed Smith & Bravo, within the first 6 overs, as the score card read a dismal 17 for 3. All the top three batsmen back in the pavilion, as Sarwan & Chanderpaul were left with a huge task of resurrecting the innings. It was probably too much to ask from the two veterans, & their best efforts could only delay the inevitable. After Sarwan fell, it was a sorry tale of wickets falling to spinners, as Chanderpaul hung on to one end with sheer grit. In the 37th over the score read 100 for 8. The final score was 112 in 43.3 overs, with old warhorse Chanderpaul left stranded at 44 unbeaten runs. This was a sorry display of applications from the Windies batters, as Afridi in his rediscovered diva as a bowler in the tournament claimed 4 wickets for just 30 runs to rip through the innings. Hafeez who opened the bowling with spin, ended with dream figures of 2 for 16 in 10 overs. Since winning the toss, nothing went right for the West Indies. It was a sorry parade of batsmen back in pavilion as Gayle, Bravo, Smith, Pollard, Sammy, Thomas, all got out with practically nothing on board. The first ball of the match was cut to point boundary by Smith & then Gayle hit two good boundaries. But the Windies batting faltered to deceive, as wickets simply tumbled. Sarwan & Chanderpaul resisted for a while, with practically no runs getting added on, & Pakistan tightening the shackles. Once Sarwan fell, it was a downward spiral.

Reply for Pakistan could not have been easier, as Hafeez & Kamran Akmal raced to 43 for no loss in 5 overs. The target too little too easy to be bothered with. Pakistan romped home in just 21 overs, without losing a wicket. Hafeez completed a well deserved fifty, ending with unbeaten 61 runs, while Kamran Akmal kept him good company with 47 runs. In the end a very easy victory for Pakistan, as they storm into the semi finals, looking more than dangerous now. Even the batting that had earlier looked brittle, has come good today. For the bowlers, there was hardly a target to defend & they needed early inroads which did not happen, as Hafeez & Akmal played without any pressures. In the end it was a blatant one sided affair for Pakistan, which would give them huge confidence going into the semifinals. They would now await the winner of the titanic clash between hosts India & champions Australia, scheduled for tomorrow.

For West Indies, it was a disappointing day, as nothing at all worked for them. Batting let them down miserably after Umar Gul had removed the dangerous Gayle, & Sammy as a leader failed to inspire a team which had potential match winners. It was a question of combining as a unit, which did not happen.

Man of the Match : Mohammed Hafeez for his excellent bowling initially & then the half century with the bat.