Waqar turns on the power

Click to follow
The Independent Online
THE combination of pace and spin of Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi took Pakistan to a four-wicket victory over the West Indies in the World Series final yesterday. It put Pakistan 1-0 ahead in the best-of-three series that they could win in the second game in Melbourne tomorrow.

Waqar's haul of four for 43 moved him into second place on the one-day all-time wicket- takers' list behind India's Kapil Dev. It was also a memorable day for the leg-spinner Afridi, who claimed his best one-day figures of three for 33.

Brian Lara and Phil Simmons were both dismissed for ducks as West Indies managed to score only 179 from their 50 overs for the loss of nine wickets. After being put in by Pakistan's captain, Wasim Akram, the openers Sherwin Campbell and Junior Murray put on 99, the highest opening stand of the series, before the West Indies collapse.

Pakistan's other leg-spinner, Mushtaq Ahmed, made the initial breakthrough, having Murray caught and bowled off the leading edge for 48. Lara lasted just two balls before he was brilliantly caught and bowled by Afridi. Campbell was then bowled for 52 off the inside edge by Afridi's faster ball, and it was time for Waqar to strike.

After being smashed for 29 in his opening four-over spell, Waqar came back to decimate the West Indies' middle order. In the first delivery of his second spell, he bowled Chanderpaul around his legs and then grabbed lbw decisions against Simmons (0) and Robert Samuels (1).

Afridi's third victim was Jimmy Adams, who was trapped lbw for two, leaving the West Indies at 123-7. Roland Holder and Ian Bishop's eighth-wicket stand of 53 at least ensured the West Indies would have a half-decent total to defend. Holder was eventually run out and Waqar came back to trap Curtly Ambrose leg before for a duck.

In reply, Ijaz Ahmed Sr top-scored for Pakistan with 60 runs, while Afridi added 53. Moin Khan was 38 not out when Pakistan surpassed the West Indies total in the 39th over, finishing at 185-6 after a winning six from Khan.

It was an impressive performance by Pakistan, especially as they were without their opener and part-time spinner Aamir Sohail, who was suspended for one match for dissent in the game against Australia in Melbourne on Thursday.

Wasim was pleased with his team's effort. "Everybody fought well, they all gave 100 per cent," said Akram. "Right now we are very much enjoying our cricket."

Courtney Walsh, the West Indies captain, was gracious in defeat. "You have to give Pakistan credit, they played and bowled well. They got the wickets at the right time. My guys gave it all in the field, but we couldn't come back. I hope we can turn things around in Melbourne."

Comments