West Indies v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Barbados April 27, 2011

West Indies hope to keep series alive

70

Match Facts

April 28, Bridgetown, Barbados
Start time 0930 (1330 GMT)

The Big Picture

April 28 is Heroes Day in Barbados. A national holiday to celebrate people the country is proud of. Like Grantley Adams and Garry Sobers. The West Indies cricket team is in desperate need of a hero - Bajan or otherwise - as they bid to keep the series alive at the Kensington Oval. Unfortunately the cricketers likeliest to produce heroic feats are injured, dropped or plying their trade in India. Darren Sammy's team trails 0-2, and unless they improve dramatically on two inept performances, Pakistan will secure the series with two games to spare.

West Indies have bowling problems. They took only five Pakistan wickets in 89.3 overs in the first two ODIs. Devendra Bishoo accounted for four, while the other was a run-out. Kemar Roach is a threat with the new ball but Pakistan's batsmen have simply played out his testing deliveries, while scoring off the gentle medium-pace at the other end. Jerome Taylor, who would have been an able new-ball partner for Roach, is playing in the IPL instead.

Pakistan have also had the luxury of being able to chase at their own pace, because West Indies' batsmen have been clueless against spin. It was this that decided the first two one-dayers extremely early in the contest. No one has been able to read the variations of Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez. At one extreme, Darren Bravo played a shot too many in the second ODI, and at the other Marlon Samuels couldn't play one if he wanted to.

The formula for Pakistan, on a turning St Lucia pitch, was simple. Let West Indies bat first, use spinners to stifle the scoring and pick up wickets without needing to produce anything spectacular, after which their batsmen chase at leisure. The outcome has been rather unattractive to watch - two dreary, uncompetitive matches - but that is no fault of Pakistan's. They too arrived in the Caribbean with several young players, and they've managed to cope far better than the hosts have.

Form guide

(most recent first)

West Indies LLLLL
Pakistan WWLWW

Watch out for...

Marlon Samuels' international comeback, after serving a two-year ban, has not been successful. He made 2 off 19 balls in the first one-dayer and then stagnated spectacularly in the second, pottering around for 3 off 36 balls before finishing up with 29 off 74. His innings played a significant role in West Indies losing direction after a positive start. Given the turbulence in West Indies cricket at the moment, Samuels can hope for a few more opportunities to stake a claim to a permanent spot in the team.

Mohammad Hafeez is fast becoming an integral component in the Pakistan squad, his all-round skills maintaining the balance of the team. He does a Shane Watson, opening the innings, often scoring quickly, and then bowling ten reliable overs, sometimes taking the new ball. He took 1 for 36 and made 54 in the first ODI, and contributed 2 for 38 and 32 in the second.

Team news

Despite two drubbings, the West Indian selectors persevered with the same 13-man squad for the third ODI. Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Taylor are in India, while Fidel Edwards is not yet match fit. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Sulieman Benn remain unpicked. The fact that the squad was retained for only the third ODI is perhaps an indication that another failure will result in changes. Anthony Martin, the Antiguan legspinner, had a satisfactory debut - taking 0 for 36 off ten overs - so he could keep his place ahead of Andre Russell.

West Indies (possible): 1 Devon Smith, 2 Lendl Simmons, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Kirk Edwards, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Carlton Baugh (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Devendra Bishoo, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Anthony Martin

Pakistan played the same XI in both games, and with the results they've had, there is no need to change it as they push for a series win.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Asad Shafiq, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq, 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Hammad Azam, 7 Mohammad Salman (wk), 8 Shahid Afridi (capt), 9 Wahab Riaz, 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Saeed Ajmal

Pitch and conditions

The pitch at the Beausejour Stadium had surprised Sammy, who did not think it would aid spin as much as it did. The Kensington Oval surface should be better for batting, but thundery showers are forecast for Thursday.

Stats and trivia

  • Samuels scored 16 runs off 67 balls against Pakistan's spinners in the first two one-day internationals

  • West Indies have won two and lost two of the four ODIs they've played at Kensington Oval, over the last five years

  • Pakistan have played only one ODI in Bridgetown, in 2000. They won that game by 17 runs.

Quotes

"I would like to thank my team management for the way they have supported me. Shahid is the man to follow. He is giving confidence to every single individual - I think it is amazing."
Ahmed Shehzad, who scored a century in the second ODI after a poor World Cup, is grateful for the faith the team has shown in him.

"We weren't rolled over. We kept ourselves in the matches right to the finish. There were moments when things could have gone either way, but we didn't make it happen."
Darren Sammy thinks West Indies were competitive despite Pakistan winning by eight and seven wickets.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on April 28, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    boring match the crowd dosnt seem to be enjoing the clash..

  • kranthi.vins1 on April 28, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    @JAMA::

    West Indies will become the Top Team if they play together with my Playng XI

    1) GAYLE 2)Barath 3)Dr Bravo 4)Sarwan 5)Dw Bravo 6) Pollard 7)Bishoo 8)Taylor 9)Roach 10)Samuels & Finally Not Forgetting big Man 11)Pollard

    This is best team for West Indies..

  • dummy4fb on April 28, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    Neither India nor the IPL can be blamed for the poor performance of West indies team. Blame rests primarily with the WICB and the selectors who in combination have "mashed up" cricket in the region.

  • dummy4fb on April 28, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    @EddyEhmed you are right, I can remember 1987 PAK-WI series where many Pakistani players got injuries because of their bowling attack. I also saw WI team playing with four fast bowlers on Indian spin wickets and scaring them. What a time they had. I really like WI team and do support them after Pakistan but do not know what has happened now????

  • xxxneilxxx on April 28, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    wi bowling is very weak...they need to extend the bowling and leave the remaining batsmen to back themselves to post a gd total...simmons can keep...drop baugh and edwards and play extra bowlers... Smith Simmons Bravo Samuels Bravo Sammy Russel Bishoo Martin Nurse Roach..

  • dummy4fb on April 28, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    vivgilchrist, i agree with most of what u are saying. tho i feel if WI wanted to pick a FULL STRENGTH line up chanderpaul would be there also in place of barath. i reckon WI need to convert one of their batters into a makeshift keeper and develop him that way. also WI does have a decent allrounder in darren sammy for number 8. whats missing is roach(injured) selectors(their brains are missing) and taylor and gayle (IPL) and a keeper/bat as u said, and dont forget gayle wasnt going to play IPL untill he was dropped from WI so it entirely selectors fault. Also brendon nash has hardly got a look in for ODI's, he's better then all these youngsters (darren bravo aside)

  • NCassie on April 28, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    Expect the same result once the same team is playing today, 3-0 is more than likely after today's game. WI cricket is done, over, finish....RIP WI! Trinidad & Tobago should break away from the WI team and play international cricket on their own and then the World will see the amount of talent that is within the Caribbean islands. Not the inexperience bunch of cricketers being put together and hoping on a miracle to happen. This incompetent board and captain should RESIGN and make way for people with better cricketing brain and planning to run the WI team.

  • dummy4fb on April 28, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Hafees is not "A SHANE WATSON" hafees avg low 20's in odi's while watto is 43 avg, hafees bowls spin and not pace, but he does do a great job with the ball and his spinning has improved out of sight and batting is on the way up. But he's not watto at all. Watto is a class above =p

  • dummy4fb on April 28, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Good to see Pakistani youngsters playing well. I think Pakistan should also have rested Misbah for One Days. He is aging and would not be around 2015 world cup. So he and Younis Khan should only play Tests now. As for the ODI team I suggest: 1. Shehzad 2. Hafeez 3. Asad 4. Umar 5. Fawad 6. Hammad 7. Afridi 8. Sarfraz 9. Wahab 10 Gul 11. Aijmal Fawad is talented but was not given enough time. Furthermore, he is also a very good fielder and good left arm spin bowler. Sarfraz is younger than Salman and also better batsman. For the reserves I suggest 12. Shahzaib 13. Usman 14. Sohail Tanvir and 15. Raza Hassan Rehman can play in tests. In one days Raza Hasan should be groomed. Shahzaib and Sohail Tanvir too can be very good in the limited overs format.

  • cricket_for_all on April 28, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Everybody want WI to play good game and win this match (Even some of PAK fans want WI to win this ). So WICB and WI players should do something and make good effort to be world beaters. Pls don't blame Sammy; He is not different the previous captains (did they win matches recently? they answer is simply "NO")

  • No featured comments at the moment.