ICC Champions Trophy 2013: West Indies win low-scoring thriller against Pakistan by 2 wickets

Marlon Samuels scored 30 against Pakistan at the Oval © Getty Images

By Sarang Bhalerao

London: Jun 7, 2013
 
West Indies won a low-scoring thriller against Pakistan by two wickets in a Group B match of ICC Champions Trophy at the Oval.

West Indies made heavy weather of their run-chase on a responsive Oval wicket. The track had a lot of carry which was exploited by Pakistani pace trio of Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz.

Opener Johnson Charles played an edgy knock. He was not intent on building the innings and looked for expansive shots even as the wicket was aiding pace bowlers. He hit a couple of boundaries but in the third over Charles hooked Irfan straight into the hands of fine-leg.  In his next over Irfan produced a lifting delivery which accounted for Darren Bravo who was clueless facing such a snorter early on in his innings.

Two quick wickets pegged back West Indies. The experienced duo of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels then looked to play out bowling eliminating the risk factor. They were a tad cautious. Gayle had shed his maverick side but played glorious one-legged pull shot and a straight hit off Irfan which cleared the boundary rope.

Samuels drove with élan and looked comfortable. Gayle misread Saeed Ajmal’s doosra and was bowled for 39. He added 63 for the third wicket with Samuels. After the southpaw’s dismissal, Samuels became a central figure in the run-chase. He was joined by the seasoned campaigner Ramnaresh Sarwan. But Sarwan departed soon off the bowling of Riaz. The ball took off from the surface and caught Sarwan by surprise. At 81 for four Pakistan got a slight opening in the game. The Pakistan bowlers were keeping things tight.

Samuels was out stumped off the bowling of Mohammad Hafeez. He gave Hafeez pre-mature charge and the ball drifted away from Samuels. At 94 for five West Indies needed a good partnership.

Kieron Pollard played out deliveries off Pakistan bowlers and got himself in. He scored his first run off the 18th delivery. The intention was to play out main bowlers. The fifth bowler (Hafeez) still had overs left. Captain Dwayne Bravo too looked to settle in.

At the start of the 30th over, Pollard was batting nine off 38 deliveries. He targeted Hafeez, hit him for a flat six over long-off. Off the next ball, Kamran Akmal failed to hold on to a huge deflection. Pollard looked to break free. He hit Riaz through the covers for a boundary. Two balls later, Riaz found a perfect in-between length from where the ball bounced and took Pollard’s edge. The West Indian all-rounder tried to play a forcing shot off the backfoot but failed to gauge the exaggerated bounce.

Skipper Bravo fell in the next over trying to sweep Ajmal. The ball struck him right in front of the wicket. He was adjudged leg-before but Dwayne Bravo challenged the call. The television umpire upheld on-field umpire’s call and the match was evenly poised. West Indies needed 28 runs off more than 13 overs. Required run-rate was not the issue for West Indies, wickets were. They had lost seven wickets.

Sunil Narine batting at No. 9 counterattacked. He hit his first ball off Ajmal through covers for a boundary. In the next over he smashed Riaz’s leg-stump full-toss between point and covers. The required runs was under 20. At the other end, Denesh Ramdin was batting. He too got into the action late-cutting Ajmal between two gullies stationed to put pressure on him.

Just when things looked good for West Indies, Narine was out cutting Riaz. He backed away pre-maturely and paid the price. But Kemar Roach, the hero with the ball stayed with Ramdin. Roach finished the game with a square drive off Junaid, which went for a boundary.

Read the first innings report here

Brief scores:

Pakistan: 170 in 48 overs (Misbah-ul-Haq 96*, Nasir Jamshed 50; Kemar Roach 3 for 28, Sunil Narine 3 for 34) lost to West Indies 172 for 8 in 40.4 overs (Chris Gayle 39, Marlon Samuels 30, Kieron Pollard 30; Mohammad Irfan 3 for 32) by 2 wickets.

Man of the Match: Kemar Roach

Full Scorecard

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(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)