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WI lose despite Rampaul

Ezra Stuart

WI lose despite Rampaul

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After the double defeat in St Lucia, the West Indies’ losing syndrome continued at Kensington Oval yesterday with a three-wicket loss to Pakistan.
Not even a four-wicket new ball blitz from pacer Ravi Rampaul could prevent Pakistan from taking an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match Digicel One-Day Interntional (ODI) cricket series.
Rampaul raised the West Indies’ hopes with a superb spell, but a modest total of 171 after the match was reduced to 45 overs per innings following a 105-minute late start because of rain, was never going to be enough.
Pakistan, guided by Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq’s match-winning unbeaten 62, recovered from the early peril of 12 for three, to reach 177 for seven in 40.1 overs.
Rocked on 49 for four with Rampaul snaring the scalps of opener Ahmed Shehzad and Asad Shafiq with his first two deliveries for “ducks”, followed by Mohammed Hafeez and Umar Akmal, Misbah stood firm, hitting four fours and a six in a responsible 109-ball knock.
Rampaul induced Shehzad and Hafeez to miscue hook shots, while Shafiq edged to second slip and Akmal, who made a fluent 30, gloved a lifter into the gloves of make-shift wicketkeeper Lendl Simmons after Carlton Baugh was dropped.
Misbah revived the innings with all-rounder Hammad Azam, who made 30 in his first ODI innings as they shared a vital 78-run fifth-wicket stand.
But Rampaul, who ended with four for 32 in his nine consecutive overs, lacked pace support.
Neither Kemar Roach nor Andre Russell made an impact, lacking penetration. And skipper Darren Sammy, after using the new ball in the Beausejour double header, restricted himself to just two overs, coming on as sixth bowler in the 31st over with Pakistan on 124 for four, further fuelling the debate about his role in the team.
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo was again among the wickets with three for 42.
He won a leg before wicket verdict against Azam, who was unlucky to be given out after getting an inside edge into his pads.
And after being struck for a six and four off consecutive balls by Misbah over long on, he rebounded by inducing Pakistan’s captain Shahid Afridi to sky a big heave into Devon Smith’s hands at extra cover.
Bishoo struck for the third time, bowling wicketkeeper Mohammed Salman with a flipper, leaving Pakistan on 148 for seven, still needing 24 runs for victory.
But Wahab Riaz sealed victory with sixes off Sammy – who returned to bowl the penultimate over – and Dwayne Bravo, to put Pakistan on course for a series sweep in the remaining two ODIs at Kensington on Monday and in Guyana on Thursday.
Earlier, the West Indies’ batting woes from the first two ODIs in St Lucia when they only posted totals of 221 and 220, continued from the day’s second over.
Smith’s susceptibility to off-spin was again exposed when he was trapped leg before wicket without scoring in the second over by the first ball from Hafeez, who again opened the bowling.
The Trinidadian pair of Simmons and Darren Bravo then featured in a rousing 86-run second wicket stand in 19.4 overs.
But once Simmons – who played some attractive shots in his second straight half-century – including a six off left-arm pacer Junaid Khan into the Hall & Griffith Stand – hit a tame return catch to off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, the innings fell away. Simmons hit two sixes and four fours in his knock of 51 off 64 balls.
Bravo once again reeled off some Brian Lara-like shots as he struck three fours and a six in a solid 77-ball 47, but like Smith was another LBW victim to Hafeez.
Middle order duo Marlon Samuels and Kirk Edwards both made 18 but failed to carry on for the third time in as many matches.
Coming to the crease at 131 for four with another 11 overs left after Samuels played on to Khan, Dwayne Bravo again played an irresponsible shot and gifted his wicket for 11.