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Clinical West Indies outshine Pakistan

CHRISTCHURCH–February 21, 2015: The West Indies produced a clinical performance to outshine Pakistan in the World Cup Pool B game in Christchurch, achieving a big 150-run win here on Saturday.

Denesh Ramdin (51), Lendl Simmons (50) and Darren Bravo (49) anchored the West Indian batting after Pakistan won the toss and sent their opponents into bat on a grass-less Hagley Oval pitch.

But West Indies reached 310-6 mainly because of a flurry of sixes and fours by Simmons and Andre Russell, who made a fiery 13-ball 42.

Pakistan chase went horribly wrong when they were off to a disastrous start, losing four wickets for one run to be precise, and could never recover before being bowled out for 160 in 39 overs.

Seeking to chase their best World Cup target, Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed holed out to paceman Jerome Taylor's second ball of the innings. The left-handed opener's match lasted for just 31 deliveries as he went off the field after hurting his hand while dropping a catch.

Younis Khan's poor form on the tour continued as he fell for a first-ball duck, edging Taylor to the 'keeper Denesh Ramdin. Younis has managed just 78 runs in eight matches since coming on to the New Zealand tour in late January.

Haris Sohail cut Taylor's last ball of the second over straight to point to make it 1-3. It became 1-4 when Ahmed  Shehzad fell behind the wicket in Jason Taylor's next over.

Misbah-ul Haq and Sohaib Maqsood stemmed the slump but this once Pakistani skipper too didn't succeed in waging a lone battle, falling to a catch in the slips off Andre Russell. That left Pakistan tottering at 25-5.

As Taylor finished his devastating first spell of five overs for nine runs and three wickets, the field opened up giving Pakistan some chance to repair the innings.

The order was tall, yet Maqsood and Umar Akmal put up some resistance the Windies onslaught, adding 80 for the sixth wicket. Maqood reached his fifty off 65 deliveries and as the stand threatened to somewhat revive Pakistan's prospects, Maqsood played an uppish shot off a Darren Sammy full toss that he must have regretted later.

With him gone, any realistic chance of Pakistan making a fist of it withered away, though Shahid Afridi did play a little cameo to take his own aggregate within touching distance of 8,000 runs.

Taylor finished with 3-15 while Andre Russell fetched 3-33.

The defeat leaves Pakistan in a serious spot of bother as they now have Zimbabwe (March 1), UAE (March 4), South Africa (March 7) and Ireland (March 15) to play and hope to win at least three of those matches by a heavy margin to make up for the net run-rate deficit.

The West Indies were beneficiary of some wayward bowling in death over by Pakistan and some not unusually lacklustre catching.

Otherwise a most safe pair of hands, Afridi dropped Marlon Samuels on 27 and Darren Bravo on 45 while Jamshed let off Dwayne Smith on 12 and Irfan grassed Lendl Simmons on 44.

That in a way summed up Pakistan's miserable day.

West Indies too didn't have an ideal start with Smith (23) and Chris Gayle (four) falling by the eighth over with the score on 28. Samuels and Bravo added 75 for the third wicket before the left-hander Bravo had to retire hurt after pulling his hamstring.

Denesh Ramdin (51) and Simmons (50) used the power-play effectively, and then made the last ten overs count, taking 115 runs off these. But the real impetus to the innings was provided by Andre Russell, who smashed four sixes and three boundaries in his unconquered 13-ball blast that yielded 42.

Sammy chipped in with a punishing 28-ball 30 with three boundaries and a six. But it was Russell's onslaught that powered the West Indies assault, plucking 79 runs in the last five overs.

Sohail Khan, who took 5-58 in the game against India, went for 73 runs, with Russell on rampage his last over costing 22.

Shocked by Ireland in their first game, the West Indies next play Zimbabwe in Canberra on Tuesday.