ICC World T20 Results: Mesmerising Hitting, Brilliant Bowling Take West Indies to Thumping Win over Pakistan
By Deepak Vikraman | April 2, 2014 3:34 AM EST
Pakistan thought they were on their way into the semifinals 15 overs into their swing-and-hit-or-you-go-home ICC World T20 Group 2 encounter against the West Indies, before Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy flipped the script with some monster hitting, and how.
West Indies, staring down the barrel at 81 for five in 14 overs, galloped their way to 166 for six, courtesy outstanding T20 knocks from Dwayne Bravo (46, 26b, 2x4, 4x6) and Darren Sammy (42, 20b, 5x4, 2x6), before bundling out a shell-shocked Pakistan for just 82 in 17.5 overs to seal a place in the semifinals, where they will meet Sri Lanka.
The 84-run win, West Indies' biggest ever in T20Is, keeps the defence of their World T20 title intact, while Pakistan, so in control for much of the first innings, will fly back with that feeling of oh-man-where-and-how-did-it-all-go-wrong.
With WI still buzzing after a monster hit-and-smash in the final overs, Pakistan, a little dazed and confused, were blown away from ball one, with Krishmar Santokie (two for nine) bowling a brilliant in-dipper to trap last match centurion Ahmed Shehzad in front of the wicket for a golden duck.
Pakistan never recovered from that heavy punch, as a wicket train followed, with Kamran Akmal joining his opening partner in the pavilion without scoring in the next over, picking out Dwayne Bravo perfectly to give the excellent Samuel Badree his first wicket.
With hopes resting on Umar Akmal to pull out one of those magical innings, the pressure told on the belligerent right-hander, walking out to try and smash one off Badree in the leg-spinner's next over, but missing the ball completely with Denesh Ramdin doing the rest.
A woeful miserable Powerplay was compounded with Shoaib Malik doing the same to Badree and ending up with the exact same result. That wicket put Pakistan on a no-escape-from-here 13 for four, with skipper Mohammed Hafeez, chasing a big score, getting stuck in the middle as Sohaib Maqsood looked to take the attack to the in-the-mood WI bowlers.
However, it was a futile attempt at best, with the almost painful 24-run partnership from five overs between the two brought to an end by Andre Russell as Hafeez (19, 32b, 0x4, 0x6) top-edged one to Chris Gayle at cover.
Maqsood (18, 22b, 1x4, 1x6) followed soon after, becoming Sunil Narine's first victim, as Shahid Afridi, with Pakistan needing an impossible 119 from the final eight overs, made a gallant go of it, smashing a massive 95-metre six, before Narine (4-0-16-3), again, put paid to those hopes as well, dismissing Sohail Tanvir (14, 12b, 1x4, 1x6) and Afridi (18, 12b, 2x6) in one over, the 16th, to all but bring down the proverbial curtains and cue the Gangnam Style celebrations.
The first innings had one phase where the Pakistan bowlers were top dogs - for 15 overs - and feeling like they had half a foot in the semifinal, with the second phase, the final five overs, all about Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, sixes galore, sprinkled by a plenty of boundaries.
There was no monster start from Chris Gayle, or Dwayne Smith, as a matter of fact, as West Indies struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking over, despite hitting a considerable amount of boundaries in the first six overs.
Gayle did not have much time to make an effect, caught outside his crease off the bowling of Hafeez after facing just four deliveries, with Kamran Akmal doing the needful.
Smith fell an over later in the fourth, edging one through to the wicketkeeper off an angled delivery from left-arm pacer Tanvir.
Lendl Simmons had come in at No. 3 and looked pretty good in the middle, middling the deliveries, and finding boundaries every now and then. However, the run rate was kept well below seven with Simmons and Marlon Samuels unable to free that ball into space often enough.
The Pakistan bowlers looked in their comfort zone, not giving away too many runs, and creating a wicket-opportunity every few deliveries.
Simmons and Samuels put on 39 runs in 6.2 overs to give the batting behemoths of the latter part of the innings a chance to tonk at will.
However, the decent platform gave way quite soon with Simmons (31, 29b, 2x4, 2x6) getting run out in the first ball of the 11th over, while Samuels (20, 18b, 1x4, 1x6) fell three balls later, castled by Afridi (4-0-23-1).
Those two wickets put West Indies on 67 for four, with Pakistan, their tails pointing north, smelling blood. Denesh Ramdin failed to make an impact, falling for a 10-ball 5, which probably was heaven-sent from West Indies' point of view, as it brought Darren Sammy into the crease.
The two - Bravo and Sammy -- drew breath in their first over - the 15th - together, before going berserk as the Pakistan fielders suddenly felt a few cricks in the necks coming in having to watch the ball fly over them time and again.
Bravo was the instigator of the assault, more like murder actually, taking Zulfiqar Babar (4-0-27-1) for 11 runs in the 16th over. If Pakistan thought that was too much, it was only the starter, with the main course, and a wonderful dessert spread coming up.
The 17th over went for 12 runs as Saeed Ajmal kept it relatively tight, but orbit was hit in the 18th from Umar Gul (2-0-29-0), with Bravo smashing two glorious sixes on his way to taking the Pakistan fast bowler for 21 runs.
It only got worse, as Bravo blitzed another couple of maximums off Ajmal (4-0-41-0) in the next over, before Sammy joined in with a six of his own - an absolutely massive one worth 97 metres, eclipsing Bravo's previous 90-metre hit -- and a boundary to take 24 runs from the over, and with it moving the partnership to a quite brilliant 71 from 32 deliveries.
Bravo was run out in the first ball of the final over from Tanveer, but Sammy did not let up, smashing a six and a four, with the 14 runs from the final over - West Indies scoring 81 runs from the last five - taking WI to 166.
The momentum that had swayed West Indies' way did not waver in the second innings, as the defending champs romped to the last four.
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