Misbahul Haq admitted the batsmen played ‘bad shots’ as Pakistan returned to their self-destructive ways in the second One-Day International (ODI) against the West Indies at the Guyana National Stadium.
Solid contributions by the Bravo brothers, Darren and Dwayne, helped the West Indies to a 37-run win after they had gotten off to the worst possible start when left-arm fast bowler Mohammed Irfan had Chris Gayle caught at the wicket in the first over of the day. However, two days after demolishing the hosts by 126 runs, Pakistan folded for 195 off 47.5 overs in reply to the Caribbean side’s total of 232 for eight.
Pakistan appeared to be cruising along at 103 for two with skipper Misbah well entrenched and opener Nasir Jamshed (54) riding his considerable luck towards a half-century. But Misbah played a shot totally out of character to be bowled by Darren Sammy, a fitting reward for the all-rounder playing his 100th ODI.
That dismissal was followed by a succession of poor shots and with spinner Sunil Narine returning to wicket-taking form in snaring four for 26 to claim the man-of-the-match award, a rearguard 50 by wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal proved to be too little, too late for Pakistan.
With the series now level, the teams travel on to St Lucia for the remaining three matches, beginning tomorrow.
“Our bowlers didn’t use the moisture in the pitch well,” said Misbah.
“The pitch then got slower and lower so it made life really difficult for us when we batted. We didn’t help our cause by some bad shots.”
Darren Bravo’s top score of 54 paced his team through the first half of the innings, while skipper Dwayne Bravo provided vital impetus in holding the latter half of the innings together with an unbeaten 43 that proved critical in helping the Caribbean side to a challenging score.
“Given the nature of the pitch, I thought 230-235 would have been a good total,” said Dwayne. “We really needed this win to get some confidence back and we can’t forget the fans, because they are the ones who suffer the most when we play badly.”
Shahid Afridi claimed two wickets, as did Saeed Ajmal, the pair of slow bowlers threatening to stifle the home team as they did so effectively two days earlier. Afridi could not replicate his heroics with the bat, however, one wild swing too many bringing about his demise via a stumping.
Earlier, Darren and Johnson Charles (31) counter-attacked either side of a break before rain following Gayle’s swift demise, the pair putting on 79 runs for the second wicket. The runs then dried up during the middle of the innings with Bravo and Marlon Samuels struggling to get the ball away.
It took the arrival of the batting Powerplay to change the complexion of the innings as wickets fell in a rush, only for Kieron Pollard (30) to finally provide some stability and acceleration with his captain, the pair taking the West Indies from the uncertainty of 150 for five in the 39th over to 220.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2013.
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