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April 21, 2011
West Indies 150 for 7 (Simmons 65, Bravo 42, Rehman 2-22) beat Pakistan 143 for 9 (Umar 41, Bishoo 4-17) by seven runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
It's just one match, which will fade into obscurity by the end of the next, but West Indies began their latest New Era impressively, beating Pakistan by seven runs in the first ever Twenty20 match between the teams. Lendl Simmons made 65 to help West Indies set a competitive total before Devendra Bishoo's four wickets brought them victory.
Such has been Ottis Gibson's desperation for renewal after a disappointing World Cup campaign that five debutants were fielded. Critics, though, could point to a desire for greater control as much as freshness after several senior players were jettisoned from the squad.
That certainly seemed to be the view held by Chris Gayle, the former captain, who vented his frustration with Gibson and the WICB by joining Royal Challengers Bangalore and issuing a withering assessment of both in a radio interview. The off-field wrangling dominated the build-up to the match and is likely to rumble on for some time to come but West Indies fans could at least enjoy a moment of on-field catharsis.
Such drama is familiar to Pakistan but of late they have been alarmingly stable. Their last game was a passionate spectacle against India in the World Cup semi-final in Mohali, so they could be forgiven for looking a little underwhelmed by St Lucia.
Barely a smattering of spectators showed up but those who did were treated to an entertaining opening from Simmons. Filling the immense hole left by Gayle's absence he cracked 65 from 44 balls and shared a 99-run stand for the second wicket with a fluent Darren Bravo, who made 42.
The pair struck 15 boundaries between them, which proved crucial as West Indies collapsed in familiar fashion after they were separated.
Luckily for them the bowlers, led by legspinner Bishoo, masked the errors in an energetic display. The six no-balls pointed to performance lacking polish but the attack used a tiring pitch to good effect.
Darren Sammy ensured Pakistan's chase got off on the wrong foot as he had Mohammad Hafeez caught at fine leg for 3 before Ahmed Shehzad spooned Ravi Rampaul to mid-on for 12. Asad Shafiq threatened a revival with Umar Akmal before Bishoo intervened with two wickets in his first over. Shafiq was brilliantly caught for 25 by Danza Hyatt, diving forward from midwicket, before Misbah-ul-Haq was dismissed for a duck, treading on his stumps a ball later.
Even modest legspinners have proved potent in 20-over cricket and Bishoo, who impressed on international debut in the World Cup, is better than that. Mixing his pace and flight nicely he got his third wicket when Shahid Afridi scythed a cut to point on 12 to leave Pakistan's hopes entirely with Umar.
Having reached a run-a-ball 41, Umar was victim to his own misunderstanding. The previous delivery he had alerted the umpires to a no-ball caused by West Indies not having the required three men in the ring but, thinking the following ball was a free-hit, swung Rampaul to Marlon Samuels on the square-leg boundary. Umar lingered but the umpires this time knew better.
What should have been a doddle from there for West Indies became tense, as Rampaul's no-ball-ridden penultimate over cost 15, but Andre Russell held his nerve in the final over to seal victory.
The lacklustre showing from Pakistan's batsmen was in sharp contrast to Simmons and Bravo. Happy to use their feet, both were proficient against the pace and spin and used the small boundaries to good effect. West Indies passed 100 in the 13th over and looked set to post a really significant total but a trademark collapse punctured the optimism.
Bravo holed out to long-on off Abdur Rehman before Simmons was run out by Samuels two overs later. Samuels, on his comeback after serving a two-year ban for alleged involvement with illegal bookmakers, endured a torrid time as he laboured to 4 from 11 balls before running past a Saeed Ajmal doosra. Sammy followed quickly for 1 and it needed a last-over boundary to take the total past 150. Pakistan looked to have the edge but Bishoo ensured otherwise.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge