Cricket: Lack of attack tempers Windies

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AN UNCHARACTERISTIC tem-erity cost the West Indies dearly yesterday. If it continues to afflict them, they will not get very far in this World Cup.

Fearful of a lengthy tail, they limited themselves to three main bowlers and packed their 11 with eight batsmen, relying on four, in Michael Holding's expressive phrase, "fiddly trundlers" to support Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and Merv Dillon. It meant the difference between a modest Pakistan total of around 160 and their eventual 229 for 8 that was always going to be challenging against an attack, in contrast to their own, of considerable depth. It was ideally suited to the conditions in England in mid-May and will cause worries to their remaining opponents.

Surprisingly handed the advantage of first use of a dull, grey morning and a pitch fresh enough to offer encouraging movement, Walsh and Ambrose harassed the early Pakistan batsman with their control of length, line and variation, perfected through years of experience. Walsh was only doing for the West Indies what he used to do for 14 seasons for Gloucestershire.

Dillon, in spite of his tendency for leg-side wides, maintained the pressure but when they had to be removed Brian Lara had only the medium pace of Phil Simmons and the "fiddlers" of Jimmy Adams to turn to with a couple of expensive fill-in overs from Keith Arthurton, before he was injured, and the first-timer Ricardo Powell.

They have all done an adequate job in the past but in warmer climes and on featureless pitches. Here they were simply fodder for the late-order Pakistanis, who claimed 124 off their combined 20 overs.

They will now clearly have to boost their attack with the inclusion of either Reon King or Hendy Bryan, two worthy seam bowlers who would have equally enjoyed the conditions here. The problem is that neither is a particularly accomplished batsman.

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