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Pakistan eye confidence booster ahead of Tests

KARACHI: Pakistan will go all out for a comprehensive win against West Indies in the fifth and final One-day International to give themselves a ‘psychological boost’ ahead of the two-Test series that gets underway from May 12 in Guyana.

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s limited-overs captain, stressed on Tuesday that he would want to hand over the captaincy to Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq on a victorious note by leading the tourists to a 4-1 triumph in the ODI series on Thursday (tomorrow).

Misbah, Pakistan’s Test captain, will be leading the visitors in the two Tests to be played in Guyana and St Kitts from May 12-20. Afridi, who has retired from Tests, will return home later this week.

Pakistan took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the ODI series but were unable to realise their target of recording a 5-nil whitewash when they lost the fourth one-dayer in Bridgetown by one run under the Duckworth-Lewis Method.

“It was disappointing to lose the last match but we remain highly motivated and are confident of wrapping up the series with a win to give Pakistan a boost ahead of the Test series,” said Afridi.

Afridi was pleased with the performance of his new-look team, adding that Pakistan have the guts to do even better in the Test series.

“We came here to win the (ODI) series and have achieved the target because of team work. I’m confident that the team will continue its winning spree in Tests as well.”

Agencies add: Meanwhile, in Bridgetown (Barbados), West Indies captain Darren Sammy was a relieved man after his team managed a win against a Test side, other than Bangladesh, in an ODI since June 2009.

“We needed that. It’s been a while since we hadn’t won against a higher ranked opposition and to do that, the guys will take the positives,” Sammy said. “We created an opportunity today and it was good to see the guys pulling us through in the end.”

Pakistan compiled 248 for nine in 50 overs, as Mohammad Hafeez (138) and the 25-year-old Asad Shafiq (71) laid the platform for a challenging total with their sound stand, although the Pakistan middle order couldn’t supply the necessary tempo towards the end.

“After the way Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq played on a difficult pitch I think we should have got 270-275,” said skipper Shahid Afridi.

“I think we really missed that chance as we didn’t bat well at the end. “We’re disappointed because we missed an opportunity to set a higher score.”