Big win for Windies
PROVIDENCE, Guyana – Another fluent innings from Lendl Simmons followed tidy bowling led by Ravi Rampaul – gave West Indies a commanding ten-wicket victory over Pakistan in the final One-day International yesterday.
Simmons struck seven fours and three sixes in a career-best, unbeaten 77 from 73 balls, and Kirk Edwards supported with 40 not out, as West Indies successfully chased 140 without losing a wicket, winning with 159 balls remaining at the Guyana National Stadium.
Simmons formalised the result when he played a delivery from Ahmed Shehzad to point, and gained a second run from an overthrow.
The result meant Pakistan won the five-match series 3-2, after winning the first three handsomely before West Indies rebounded with a one-run victory under the Duckworth-Lewis Method in the rain-affected fourth ODI last Monday.
Rampaul led the West Indies attack with another penetrative spell on an unpredictable pitch, finishing with four wickets for 45 runs from ten overs.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy produced his best spell for the series with the ball, collecting three for 30 from ten overs, and Dwayne Bravo supported with two for 16 from 5.2 overs.
It was the first time in the series that the West Indies bowlers had dominated the Pakistan batsmen, with Mohammad Hafeez leading the way for the visitors with 55 from 83 balls and Umar Akmal supporting with 24 – but no one else passed 20 for the visitors.
Simmons and Edwards then nervously negotiated six overs before the interval to carry West Indies to 34 without loss.
But Simmons was fortunate on eight, when he gained the benefit of the doubt from Jamaican umpire Norman Malcolm rather than Pakistan captain and leg-spinner Shahid Afridi for an lbw decision.
Edwards too, enjoyed a slice of fortune, when he under-edged a cut from a delivery from Afridi, and wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman failed to hold a difficult chance.
After the interval, Simmons and Edwards navigated West Indies to their destination, but Simmons again benefited, when Hafeez dropped him on 30 at slip from the off-spin of Saeed Ajmal, and Edwards too, survived a close run-out chance.
Simmons reached his 50 at a run-a-ball with a single to long-on off Afridi before he ushered West Indies over the finish line.
Earlier, Rampaul set Pakistan back early, when he had Taufeeq Umar, playing for the first time in the series, caught behind for three in the fifth over.
West Indies again found it difficult to separate the pair of Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad, and they were just getting into the thick of things, when Sammy produced his best spell of the series.
The West Indies captain bowled Shehzad for nine in the 15th over to claim his first scalp of the series to trigger a wobble that left Pakistan 93 for five.
Rampaul soon took the bite out of the Pakistanis, striking again to remove the dangerous pair of Umar Akmal bowled, and Afridi caught behind for nine, as well as Wahab Riaz caught at slip for a duck in the space of five deliveries to leave the visitors 113 for eight. They never recovered.
The two sides now play two Tests, starting next Thursday at this same ground, and from May 20 to 24 at Warner Park in St Kitts.
Pakistan will warm-up for the Tests, when they play a two-day match on Sunday and Monday at Bourda Oval. (CMC)