PROVIDENCE – Sunil Narine followed the lead of compatriot Darren Bravo to help West Indies rebound from a string of defeats and land a morale-boosting 37-run victory over Pakistan in the second One-day International yesterday.
To the delight of scores of cricket-starved locals that half-filled the Guyana National Stadium, Narine snared four for 26 from his allotted ten overs to lead West Indies to victory.
The home team prevailed despite half-centuries from Nasir Jamshed and Umar Akmal, as Pakistan failed to successfully chase 233 for victory.
The result meant West Indies levelled the five-match series 1-1, following a 126-run defeat in the first ODI two days earlier at the same venue.
The younger Bravo gathered a polished 54 to give early momentum and lead the West Indies batting, and elder brother Dwayne was part of the late assault, finishing not out on 43, as the hosts, sent in to bat, reached 232 for eight from 50 overs.
Johnson Charles scored 31, Kieron Pollard hit 30 and Marlon Samuels added 21 to redeem confidence in the West Indies batting.
Kemar Roach, in particular, and Jason Holder, the West Indies new-ball pair, then kept Jamshed and fellow opener Ahmed Shahzad on their heels.
Roach started with four consecutive maiden overs, Holder bowled with discipline and was unfortunate when the elder Bravo, at second slip, gave Jamshed the first of four reprieves, on zero, in the eighth over.
Roach made the breakthrough in the 11th over, when Shahzad was caught behind for 19, essaying a flat-footed spar at a delivery outside the off stump, and Narine had Mohammad Hafeez caught at long-on for 20 from a lofted drive in the 18th over.
The home team had a second chance to remove Jamshed on 19, but Darren Sammy failed to hold a thick edge at slip off Narine in the 20th over.
Six overs later, Chris Gayle, sprinting about 15 to 20 yards from mid-off to his right, put Jamshed down on 32 off Samuels from a top-edged pull.
Sammy was the hero, when he bowled Misbah for 17 with a delivery that kept low in the 29th over, leaving the visitors 103 for three.
Three overs later, Charles misstumped Jamshed, on 46, off Samuels – but the West Indies’ part-time off-spinner struck in his next over, removing Asad Shafiq caught at cover for ten.
Kieron Pollard succeeded in ending Jamshed’s charmed life with the second ball of his first over, however, when he had him caught at deep mid-on from a mistimed, lofted on-drive in the 33rd over.
Narine had Afridi stumped for five in the 40th over, and there was token resistance from the rest of the Pakistan batting, as they lost their last five wickets for 44 runs in the space of 49 deliveries.
Earlier, West Indies started badly, when Gayle was caught behind for one off Irfan, edging a flat-footed drive at a delivery outside the off-stump in the first over.
The younger Bravo joined Charles and saw West Indies through the remainder of the mandatory power play before a 45-minute stoppage for rain broke their momentum at 50 for one after the tenth over.
They put on 79 for the second wicket either side of the stoppage before Charles charged Afridi and was stumped for 31 essaying a lofted straight drive in the 19th over.
Bravo continued merrily, building on the foundation with Samuels. It was not one of his most fluent innings, but he reached his 50 from 72 balls, cutting Hafeez through backward point for his sixth boundary.
Trying to increase the tempo, the younger Bravo was bowled between bat and pad, driving at a flighted delivery from Ajmal in the 33rd over.
His dismissal sparked a period of instability, as West Indies wobbled from 123 for three to 150 for five in the 39th over.
Pollard shrugged off poor form, with explosive batting in a stand of 70 for the sixth wicket with the elder Bravo, but they were separated just when it appeared they were about to run amok in the closing overs.
Pollard was bowled for 30, undone by a perfect in-swinging yorker from Ali that hit the base of off-stump in the penultimate over, and a mad scramble for runs in the final over resulted in the run out of Darren Sammy and Kemar Roach. (JG)