West Indies v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, Group B, The Oval June 6, 2013

Windies seek to revive Oval memories


Match facts

Friday, June 7, The Oval
Start time 9.30am GMT

Big Picture

West Indies have fond memories of playing in the Champions Trophy, famously winning the tournament in 2004 at The Oval, the venue where they will be beginning their campaign on Friday. Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, and Ramnaresh Sarwan played that game almost nine years ago and are part of a side that can go all the way in this competition. West Indies seemed to gel well under the leadership of Darren Sammy, who led them to the World Twenty20 title, but poor returns in the ODI format meant Bravo was appointed his replacement as captain in 50-over cricket. This Champions Trophy will be his first major assignment, starting against opponents who have consistently been strong contenders in ICC tournaments.

Even though Pakistan are missing players who've been key members of their side in the past, and just barely managed to beat Ireland ahead of the Champions Trophy warm-ups, they've grown accustomed to the conditions and have a strong bowling attack to defend competitive scores. Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan have been dropped; Umar Gul is out due to injury; Mohammad Hafeez has been solid at the top of the order; there's the experience of Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq in the middle, and Wahab Riaz and Junaid Khan have been impressive as seamers.

A defeat is a significant setback in a short competition such as this, so expect both sides to be high on intensity, also in part because of the support they are likely to receive at the ground. West Indies, in their pomp, were best supported at The Oval when they played in England, and Pakistan are never short of followers wherever they go.

Form Guide

(most recent first)

Pakistan: WTWLW (last five completed games)
West Indies: WWWLL

Watch out for...

Ramnaresh Sarwan was once the most important member of West Indies' top and middle orders, but didn't play ODIs for almost a year-and-a-half until his return against Australia in February this year. Though that series was a disappointment, he struck a century in the three-match series against Zimbabwe, followed by a stint with Leicestershire, which would have helped him get used to the conditions.

Wahab Riaz could be a handful in favourable conditions in England. He bowls with pace, can swing it and can be effective in the shorter format with his ability to bowl the yorker on target. He is more than handy with the bat, having played a key role in Pakistan's close victory over Ireland followed by a three-for in the warm-up win over South Africa.

Team news

West Indies could have some tough choices to make. They have plenty of depth in their batting, and it'll be interesting to see if they pick Sammy in the playing XI. They opened with Sarwan in the ODI series against Zimbabwe in February, but Johnson Charles is fresh from two straight half-centuries in the warm-ups. Would they prefer going in with an extra specialist batsman?

West Indies (possible): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 6 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Kemar Roach/Tino Best.

Pakistan played just one warm-up game (their first was washed out) and gave Umar Amin a go in the middle order, but it remains to be seen if he's picked tomorrow.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Imran Farhat, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Asad Shafiq, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Saeed Ajmal, 9 Wahab Riaz, 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Asad Ali/Ehsan Adil.

Pitch and conditions

On a sunny day, The Oval track could cater to a high-scoring game, and take a bit of turn. The conditions may not support much swing. There hasn't been an ODI played at The Oval in almost 10 months; scores of 238 and 252 were chased down comfortably by West Indies and England there last year.


  • In ICC ODI tournaments, Pakistan have beaten West Indies on four occasions and lost eight times. They won the last two encounters between the teams in ICC tournaments - in the 2009 Champions Trophy in South Africa and the World Cup quarter-final in Dhaka.
  • Chris Gayle has scored 840 runs against Pakistan in ODIs, at 31.11. Sarwan has a good record against Pakistan in the format, scoring 514 runs in 14 games at 46.72.


"The plan should be that Imran Farhat plays as an anchor and last for 40 overs or so and the boys around him play freely but sensibly. Pakistani batting always comes under pressure if the openers fall early."
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram on what should be Pakistan's ODI batting strategy.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manesh on June 8, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Exactly what we predicted. bye bye Pakistan.

  • Cricket on June 7, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    With 170 on the board who thinks Pakistan has any chance in this game?

    Frankly speaking if Pakistan get 2 or 3 early wickets then with the specialist Pakistani bowlers there could be a small chance. Though i am not sure about Wahab. We never know which Wahab will show up on a given day. But that is a big if. Because if Gayle gets to a flier, this match will be finished in a giffy.

    Regarding Misbah's effort of 96* , I think he is to be blamed for the team he has selected. Farhat, Malik, Riaz and Kamran will never give you anything in a crunch situation. They should not have been in the team. Looks like Misbah will never get the elusive century.


  • Cricket on June 7, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Afridi was dropped because earlier his batting was not commong good. Later when his batting clicked in South Africa (he was the 2nd highest run getter) then he was accused of not getting sufficient wickets with his bowling.

    Compare him with Shoeb Malik. In all departments including fielding Afridi was better than Shoeb Malik. Can someone tell me what did Shoeb Malik do in the SA tour or any series in the last 2 years to get a place in the squad for Champions Trophy. Infact the body language of Malik is so negative that you never expect anything from him.


  • Cricket on June 7, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    110/6 . Kamran Akmal, Another favorite of the selectors gone with the wind.


  • Cricket on June 7, 2013, 11:46 GMT


    Misbah's favorite S.Malik gone for a Golden Duck. Misbah deserves this. Good for him. Somehow they think S.Malik experience will help the team. And now the dirty Kamran on the crease, what do you expect from him?.

  • Cricket on June 7, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    @ Fast_Track_Bully : completely agreed.

    The Ireland game is the indication by which you can judge the present pakistani team.


  • Manesh on June 7, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    This Pakistan team luckily escaped against Ireland with a tie. That shows their ability. Lets wait and see.

  • Cricket on June 7, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Also this could be the end of the road for Asad Shafiq's ODI career.

  • Cricket on June 7, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    Pakistan have never beaten India in any major championship, be it the World Cup, Asia cup or Champions trophy. So it can be safely said that if Pakistan loose today they will be out of the semi finals contention. Also it looks today the Pakistani net-run-rate is going to take a serious beating. A perfect reciepie of an early exit.

    Misbah should never have been appointed the captain of the ODI team. AFRIDI was doing a good job when the Waqar episode spoilt everything for Pakistan.

    Also it is becoming increasingly clear that outside the subcontinent HAFEEZ is a total loss.


  • Cricket on June 7, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    In the absense of Afridi & Abdul Razzaq now Pakistan can forget about the late surge that they were capable of. The middle order is rotten with players like Misbah and Malik. The top is disgraced by Farhat. I dont expect anything from this team.

    15/3. Asad shafiq departs for duck. The writing is on the wall. You dont need inside information if you want to bet some money on the game.