Pakistan storm past sorry Windies
Pakistan continued their stunning World Cup progress with a 10-wicket demolition of West Indies, who were dismissed for a paltry 112, in Mirpur.
The Group A winners, who ended Australia’s 34-match unbeaten run at World Cups, set up a semi-final with Ricky Ponting’s side or fierce rivals India in Mohali next Wednesday.
Spinners Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and the recalled Saeed Ajmal ran through the Windies’ fragile batting order in 43.3 overs at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who yesterday warned his side they must improve their batting after collapsing against India and England in the last week, was soon made to regret his decision to bat first as they slumped to 16 for three inside six overs.
Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the latter surprisingly dropped for the last two matches, halted the flow of wickets with a painstaking 42-run stand but Sarwan’s departure sparked a slide of five wickets for 13 runs.
Chanderpaul and Kemar Roach - two of three changes along with Chris Gayle from Sunday’s defeat to India - again stemmed the tide courtesy of an alliance worth 40, but the former was left stranded on a watchful 44 not out from 106 deliveries.
Afridi took his his tournament wicket-tally to 21 with 4-30 while Hafeez, who expertly used the new ball, claimed 2-16 and Ajmal - playing in place of fellow spinner Abdur Rehman in the only alteration from victory over Australia - 2-18.
Hafeez, who tormented with the bat as he had with the ball, and Kamran Akmal had little difficulty in overhauling West Indies’ total, doing so in 20.5 overs to finish on 61 and 47 respectively.
They set off in a hurry, Roach and Ravi Rampaul conceding two fours in their first overs. Roach was twice unlucky: Kamran survived on six when Kieron Pollard shelled a stinging chance at point and Hafeez likewise on 17 as wicketkeeper Devon Thomas could not hold on down leg.
Hafeez cut and pulled Devendra Bishoo for four to herald the team’s 50 in the eighth over - the Windies had taken until the 21st - and, despite Sammy not enforcing the bowling powerplay, runs continued to come steadily.
Consecutive driven fours off Rampaul took Hafeez to a half-century and beyond, and victory soon followed when Kamran forced Roach for four in front of point. Hafeez’s innings occupied 64 balls and contained 10 fours while Kamran faced three fewer deliveries from which he hit seven boundaries.
Fellow opener Devon Smith the game began brightly, cutting Umar Gul for four first up, but Gayle smacked the paceman to mid-off in his second over. Off-spinner Hafeez, perhaps given the new ball to target Gayle, struck twice in his third over with Smith and Darren Bravo trapped in front - the latter despite a review.
Chanderpaul and Sarwan dug in, the former taking 19 balls to get off the mark before Sarwan took Wahab Riaz for two fours in three balls in the immediately-taken bowling powerplay.
Afridi wasted an lbw review against Sarwan, who was struck more than 2.5 metres in front of the stumps, and saw the batsman dropped on the cover boundary by Gul in his next over. However, Afridi finally had his man when Sarwan cut to point on 24.
Chanderpaul, who had crawled to 14 from 55 balls, took everyone by surprise in slog-sweeping Ajmal for six but could then only watch as wickets fell around him.
Afridi had two in two when Pollard edged his quicker ball behind and an even faster delivery from the leg-spinner pinned Thomas in front on the back foot.
Four wickets fell in two overs as Ajmal had Sammy leg before and cleaned up Bishoo, both scalps coming via the off-spinner's doosra.
Chanderpaul and Roach rallied although both had lives with Kamran missing the chance to stump the former off Ajmal on 24 and the latter put down by Younus Khan at slip off Wahab on eight.
With the pair seeming to cope with against spin, Abdul Razzaq was introduced and the seamer struck in his third over when Roach, on 16, attempted to go over the top only to locate midwicket.
Afridi wrapped up the innings in the next over when his googly beat Rampaul’s sweep and pegged back the left-hander’s leg stump.