Pakistan’s start to ICC World Cup 2019 was devastating. First, Pakistan lost to Afghanistan in the ICC World Cup warm up match. But, at least the runs scored by Pakistan in that match were respectable. In the match against West Indies on 31st May 2019, Pakistan’s defeat was shocking. The match was a one-sided affair with a very clear message conveying the excellent West Indian preparations. While Pakistan struggled to cross the 100 mark, it took just 13 overs for West Indies to wrap up the match. Out of the 13 matches that both the teams have previously played against each other in ODI World Cups, Pakistan has managed to win just 3 matches.
While Pakistan team was led by Sarfaraz Ahmed, the West Indians had Jason Holder as their captain. Oshane Thomas became the highest wicket taker in today’s match by capturing 4 wickets and rightly won the Man of the Match award and West Indies won the match by 7 wickets with 36.2 overs to spare in what can be described as an excellent start to the ICC World Cup 2019.
Eight of Pakistan’s batsmen could not even cross the double digit mark. Imam-ul-Haq along with Fakhar Zaman opened for them. Pakistan lost its first wicket in the third over itself. Imam-ul-Haq was caught by Shai Hope off Cottrell. Haq scored only 2 runs off 11 balls. Fakhar Zaman was the highest run scorer for Pakistan today. Scoring 22 runs off 16 balls, Zaman was out when an Andre Russell ball hurried on to him and ricocheted off his helmet and hit the stumps. Andre Russell picked up another wicket when a 90mph delivery from him was guided by Harris Sohail to wicketkeeper, Shai Hope. With two wickets in three overs, Russell had setup the match nicely in West Indies’ favour. Oshane Thomas and skipper Jason Holder picked up from Russell had left and bowled out Pakistan with just 105 to defend. Pakistan’s best two batsmen, Babar Azam & Catain Sarfraz Ahmed, also couldn’t do much with the bat and scored just 22 & 18 runs respectively. Experienced Mohammad Hafeez scored 16 off 24 prior to being caught by Cotrell off Thomas and had it not been for Wahab Riaz’s cameo of 18 runs off 11 balls, in which he hit Holder for a six and a four, Pakistan would have struggled to even cross the 100 run mark.
West Indies Innings
West Indies relied on Chris Gayle and Shai Hope for opening their innings. Universe Boss, Chris Gayle was his usual self. He hit three sixes and six fours and completed a well deserved half century to setup an easy chase for the West Indies. In doing so, he re-wrote the record books for hitting maximum number of sixes in World Cup history. Although Shai Hope and Darren Bravo went early, Nicholas Pooran and Hetmyer completed the formalities thus leading West Indies to victory in its first ICC World Cup 2019 outing. For Pakistan, Mohammad Amir was the pick of the bowler and picked up all three West Indies wickets.