Cricket: Pakistan punished by Lara: Let-off for little left-hander

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The Independent Online
PAKISTAN dropped Brian Lara second ball here yesterday which, in his present form, is the equivalent of offering Linford Christie a 10-metre headstart or Jim Courier a one-set lead.

The consequence was predictable. The dapper little left-hander, a century-maker in three of his previous five innings, proceeded to hold his team's suspect batting together yet again with an unbeaten 95 and carried the West Indies to victory by five wickets in the second of their five one-day internationals.

Pakistan, sent in as they were in the opening match in Kingston on Tuesday, did not make enough of unusually ragged West Indian bowling that offered them 20 wides in 32 extras and reached 194 for 7 off their 45 overs.

The openers, Aamir Sohail, with 47 off 86 balls, and Ramiz Raja, gave the innings a solid start with 56 but, even though Javed played with his usual invention for 41 and the newcomer, Basit Ali, was again impressive with 34 off 43 balls, Pakistan never really generated the required momentum.

Their main hope of reversing their recent depressing trend against the West Indies was the early demise of Lara, whose consistent and scintillating scoring on recent tours of Australia and South Africa brought some 25,000 fellow Trinidadians to the Queen's Park Oval.

Lara sent Wasim Akram's first ball of the innings whistling past cover for the first of his 10 boundaries. He was far less certain to the second, sparring at it and edging it in a gentle arc low to Inzamam-ul-Haq at first slip. The ball popped into and out of his grasping fingers, Lara's countrymen heaved a huge and collective sigh of relief and the dejected Pakistanis knew the match was all but lost.

While they made their way through the rest of the batting, Lara kept finding the gaps in the field with flowing drives and deft deflections, compiling his runs off only 106 deliveries.

Pakistan's enthusiasm had been briefly raised by Aamir Nazir, an unknown 22-year-old spotted in the nets of Lahore by the new captain Akram and picked on that evidence. He delivered late in-swingers at lively pace to start his international career with three illustrious wickets - Desmond Haynes caught at cover in the ninth over, Richie Richardson bowled and Carl Hooper lbw padding up off successive balls in the 30th. Only a thin edge from Gus Logie's bat denied him a memorable hat-trick but, even though Logie was soon removed by Akram, Lara saw it through to the end.

(West Indies won toss)

PAKISTAN

Aamir Sohail c Richardson b Simmons. . . . .47

Ramiz Raja c Richardson b Bishop . . . . . .15

Inzamam-ul-Haq run out . . . . . . . . . . .11

Javed Miandad c Simmons b Hooper . . . . . .41

Basit Ali c Haynes b Walsh . . . . . . . . .34

*Wasim Akram run out. . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Rashid Latif run out . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Waqar Younis not out. . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Mushtaq Ahmed not out . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Extras (b1 lb6 nb5 w20). . . . . . . . . . .32

Total (for 7, 45 overs) . . . . . . . . . .194

Fall: 1-56 2-85 3-108 4-170 5-170 6-187 7-188.

Did not bat: Ata-ur-Rehman, Aamir Nazir.

Bowling: Ambrose 10-0-42-0 (1nb 4w); Walsh 8-2-31-1 (1nb 1w); Bishop 7-0-42-1 (3nb 5w); Simmons 10-1-34-1 (8w); Hooper 10-0-41-1 (2w).

WEST INDIES

D L Haynes c sub (Mujtaba) b Nazir. . . . . .11

B C Lara not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95

P V Simmons c Latif b Waqar . . . . . . . . .13

*R B Richardson b Nazir . . . . . . . . . . .32

C L Hooper lbw b Nazir . . . . . . . . . . . .0

A L Logie c Latif b Akram. . . . . . . . . . .1

J C Adams not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Extras (lb11 w9 nb9). . . . . . . . . . . . .29

Total (for 5, 41 overs). . . . . . . . . . .196

Fall: 1-35 2-69 3-133 4-133 5-137.

Did not bat: J R Murray, C E L Ambrose, C A Walsh, I R Bishop.

Bowling: Wasim Akram 9-0-36-1; Waqar Younis 8-1-39-1; Aamir Nazir 9-0-43-3; Ata-ur-Rehman 10-0-42-0; Mushtaq Ahmed 5-0-25-0.

WEST INDIES WON BY FIVE WICKETS

Umpires: S U Bucknor and C E Cumberbatch.

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