Christchurch: Denesh Ramdin and Lendl Simmons hit half centuries as the West Indies smashed 115 runs in the final 10 overs to post a challenging 310 for six in their cricket World Cup group match on Saturday.
Pakistan opted to field after winning the toss and their bowlers put the West Indies on the backfoot straightaway by reducing the Caribbeans to 28 for two by the eighth over. But from then onwards, Pakistan let the West Indies off the hook with some shoddy fielding and as many as four dropped catches.
The West Indies ensured that they do not lose wickets in the middle overs while also scoring runs at a reasonable pace before a final assault in the final overs from which they scored 115 runs while losing two wickets at Hagley Oval.
The final five overs yielded an astounding 79 runs with Darren Sammy (30 off 28 balls) and Andre Russell (42 not out off 13 balls) tearing apart the Pakistan bowling attack.
The way Russell batted at fag end of West Indies innings after coming in the 48th over, it looked like he would have gone past New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum’s new World Cup record of 18-ball half century had he faced some more overs.
Russell hit three fours and four sixes in his stunning 13-ball innings. He hit three sixes off Sohail Khan in the 49th over as West Indies took 22 runs off that over.
Chris Gayle failed once again as he scored just four in his 14-ball stay at the crease while his opening partner Dwayne Smith could do a bit better by contributing 23. Darren Bravo retired hurt due to a left hamstring injury after playing a solid innings of 78-ball 49.
Wicketkeeper Ramdin (51) held the West Indies kept going in the middle overs with two useful partnerships of 49 runs with Bravo (49 runs) and of 42 runs with last match centurion Simmons (50) before he was out in the 40th over. He faced 43 balls for his 51 and hit seven fours.
Pakistan struggled on the field all through the West Indies innings, dropping as many as four times with veteran Shahid Afridi being the culprit on two occasions.
Nasir Jamshed dropped Darren Smith in the fifth over when the batsman was on 11. Afridi then dropped Samuels in the 20th over when the batsman was on 27 and then repeated the same act nine overs later by giving life to Darren Bravo when he was on 45. Mohammed Irfan dropped Simmons in the 46th over when the batsman was on 44.
The eventful first innings saw Bravo being forced to retire hurt after suffering a left hamstring injury while taking a quick single in the 32nd over. He was earlier struck on the left side of helmet by a Younis Khan throw while trying to make his ground at the striker’s end after Samuels pushed the ball to cover area in the 24th over. He spent several minutes on the ground in pain.