Caribbeans march past Pakistan

Caribbeans march past Pakistan

West Indies produced a performance befitting the champions as they ended Pakistan’s hopes of a fifth straight World T20 semifinal appearance.

In a direct shootout for the last remaining spot in the final four, West Indies recovered from a precarious situation to stun Paksiatn by 84 runs in a Group 2 clash here at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium on Tuesday.

Darren Sammy and company will now take on Sri Lanka in the first semifinal here on Thursday.        

Looking down and out for the count after deciding to bat by choice, West Indies staged a splendid fightback through an association between Dwayne Bravo (46, 26b, 2x4, 4x6) and skipper Darren Sammy (42, 20b, 5x4, 2x6).

Against Australia, the same two had made light of a stiff target with a 19-ball 49 between them and against Pakistan, they went one better with a 71-run stand off 32 balls for the fifth wicket to propel West Indies to an impressive 166 for six.

The late counter attack had left Pakistan a dazed lot and it reflected in their chase.

Krishmar Santokie sent the centurion in the previous match Ahmed Shehzad back with a first-ball duck while leg-spinner Samuel Badree (3/10) dealt three crippling blows from which Pakistan never recovered.

An equally effective Sunil Narine (3/16) broke the back of the middle-order as a stuttering Pakistan innings folded up at 82 in 17.5 overs.

The match appeared headed towards Pakistan’s way until Bravo and Sammy unleashed the beast in them not unlike against Australia the other night.

Two of the fiercest hitters of the cricket ball, the right-handed duo completely changed the complexion of the innings in a matter of four overs.

Seemingly in control of the proceedings having reduced West Indies to 84 for five, Pakistan saw Bravo and Sammy take the game away from them right under their nose.

Breaking away from the beaten path on this ground, where team winning the toss has always inserted the opposition in, West Indies opted to bat first.

The decision seemed to have backfired as a disciplined Pakistani attack managed to keep the Caribbean big hitters quiet. Gayle was the first one to go in the third over and Dwayne Smith followed him in the next. 

A cautious Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuels stabilised the innings but the run-rate took a beating.

The two departed in the space of six runs when they looked for some quick runs.

When Denesh Ramdin’s scratchy stint came to an end, West Indies were staring down the barrel at five down for 81 after 14 overs.

Saeed Ajmal gave away just three runs in the 15th as Sammy struggled to read the off-spinner.

West Indies slowly began to pick up, collecting 11 and 12 runs off the 16th and 17th overs respectively by Zulfiqar Babar and Ajmal.

Then out of the blue, Bravo exploded in a breath-taking fashion creaming Umar Gul for 21 that included two huge sixes.

It was Ajmal’s turn next to face Bravo’s fury. Having conceded just 17 in his first three overs, the 35-year-old bowler was clobbered for three sixes and a four in his final over as Pak bled 24 runs. Sammy rounded off an extraordinary assault, taking 14 runs off the final over by Sohail Tanvir.

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