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HindustanTimes Sun,24 Aug 2014
World T20: Windies strike with spin, Pak hit a new low
Nilankur Das , Hindustan Times
Mirpur, April 02, 2014
First Published: 01:01 IST(2/4/2014)
Last Updated: 08:03 IST(2/4/2014)

West Indies bucked the trend. All teams have opted to bowl first, especially in the second match of the day, fearing dew and the slightly difficult batting conditions in the first half of the match.

Thus when skipper Darren Sammy chose to bat, it did raise a few eyebrows. Not just that, with West Indies down to four for 67 in the 11th over, there was a hint of a one-sided affair. But then the heroes of the defending champions' thrilling victory over Australia, Sammy and Dwayne Bravo, came together to script a different tale.

Their sixth-wicket stand yielded 71 runs off just 32 balls. Pakistan's best bowlers, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal, were hit for 21 and 24 runs respectively in the 18th and the 19th overs.

From a benign 107 for five after 17 overs, the total went up to an imposing 152 for five at the end of the 19th. Five sixes and two fours were hit in the meantime. The 14 runs Sohail Tanvir gave away in the final over seemed economical in the face of the rampage that unfolded in the middle. And that had a lot to do with the run out of Bravo in the first ball of the 20th over after scoring 46 off 26 with two fours and four sixes.

Folding up
Pakistan did not recover from the shock. The in-form Ahmed Shahzad was leg-before to Krishmar Santokie in the first ball of the innings. And with the Akmal brothers Kamran and Umar, and after that Shoaib Malik, going back scoring virtually nothing, Pakistan's chase was nipped in the bud. It became a mere formality from then on, the crowd at the Sher-e Bangla National stadium still hanging around to see some sparks off Shahid Afridi's bat. Even that did not last long. Denesh Ramdin completed his fourth stumping of the day to dismiss Afridi and Pakistan lost by 84 runs, bowled out for 82 in 17.5 overs.

For the first time in the history of the tournament, Pakistan failed to reach the semifinals. Chris Gayle had failed with the bat and while walking back, a couple of Pakistan players had a word or two to say to him. The big man came out to field with a vengeance. He had something to say to almost all the batsmen. He dived around to save singles and did not forget a send off every Pakistan batsman. West Indies take on Sri Lanka in the first semi-final on Thursday, a repeat of last edition's final.


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