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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Windies hit a new low Sharjah

Outclassed by superior opponents, the West Indies were again thrashed by Pakistan and predictably eliminated from the Coca-Cola Champions' Trophy here last night.

Their defeat, by 138 runs with 18.3 of their 50 overs unutilised, accurately reflected the difference between the teams in talent, maturity and all-round depth.

It entered the record books as their heaviest in One-Day Internationals, erasing the run-margin of 130 runs in their first match of the tournament last Thursday.

It also emphasised the psychological advantage the Pakistanis had established by comfortably winning the previous five matches between the two: one in the World Cup in May, three in Toronto last month and the first in the preliminary round here .

Pakistan, already assured a place in Friday's final after winning two of their first three matches and tying the other, rested their two most experienced players captain Wasim Akram and left-handed opener Saeed Anwar to let some of their brilliant youngsters have a go.

The West Indies were without Curtly Ambrose. Captain Brian Lara said at the toss the great fast bowler had a mysterious hand injury, an explanation that was mysterious in itself.

The pattern of the no-contest was almost identical to Pakistan's earlier humiliating victory last week.

Batting first in daylight on winning the toss, they compiled 255 for five from their 50 overs, compared to 260 for five then.

They proceded to dismiss the West Indies for 117 in 31.3 overs, 13 runs fewer than their total on Thursday. Fast-medium swing bowler Azhar Mahmood collected six wickets for 18 from his ten overs.

Hassan Raza, at 17 one of their many teenaged prodigies, carefully set the foundation of the Pakistan total with 77 from 120 balls. Inzamam-ul-Haq (61 off 68 balls) and Yousaf Youhanna (71 not out off 46 balls with four sixes and three fours) provided the momentum that brought 170 off the last 25 overs, 99 off the last ten.

The West Indies never came to terms with their task. Early wickets fell at regular intervals and the last five in a hurry for eight runs from nine balls in another limp capitulation. Their last six in the first match went for 16.

It was a disheartening end for the West Indies to a sequence of tournaments in Singapore, Toronto, Dhaka and Sharjah the past six weeks.

They began promisingly by winning the Coca-Coca Singapore Challenge, but were beaten by both India and Pakistan in the Toronto Festival. Two wins over Bangladesh, newcomers to One-Day international status, were scant consolation.

Steady bowling by Reon King and Merv Dillon roped Pakistan in during the early exchanges, confining them to 37 in the first 15 overs, for the loss of opener Shahid Afridi, and 85 for two at the half-way 25 overs.

But the Pakistanis knew the knot was loose and they broke free with spectacular results to boost their final run-rate to over five an over.

While Raza was confined to two boundaries, a six off King, who promptly bowled him, and a four, the stronger Imzamam hoisted off-spinner Nehemiah Perry for six to add to his five fours. Youhanna launched King and Chris Gayle, the other off-spinner, for two sixes each and also stroked three fours.

King's first seven overs cost only 16. His last three at the end cost for 36.

Only Dillon, who got through his allotment in the 32nd over before the plunder started, was spared. He conceded 26 from his ten overs.

The West Indies were ragged in the field, gifting as many as 20 runs with fumbles and slackness. It was a prelude of the batting that followed.

They seemed to have no idea how to approach their task, in spite of the incentive of a place in the final and a US$50 000 bonus from sponsor Cable & Wireless.

Sherwin Campbell went cheaply to wicket-keeper Moin Khan's neat catch off Mohammed Akram. Gayle cut hard but near enough to gully that Inzamam could latch on to the catch for Mahmood's first wicket, and Ridley Jacobs' frenetic 28 came to an end with an inside-edge off Mahmood back into his stumps.

For a while, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Lara raised hopes of a genuine fight, but Chanderpaul's edge to slip off the teenaged off-spinner Shaoib Malik triggered the final rout.

Ricardo Powell flashed at his second ball to be caught behind, as was Wavell Hinds.

Lara was left with the hopeless bowlers who contributed one between them before their despondent captain lifted Shoaib for a six and then holed out.

  • Windies hit a new low Sharjah

    Outclassed by superior opponents, the West Indies were again thrashed by Pakistan and predictably eliminated from the Coca-Cola Champions' Trophy here last night