West Indies sneak home in the rain
West Indies 154 for 4 (Simmons 76) beat Pakistan 248 for 9 (Hafeez 121, Shafiq 71) by one run - D/L
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Dwayne Bravo cracked a vital six off Shahid Afridi in the final over before a terminal rain shower rolled across the Kensington Oval, as West Indies clawed their way to a face-saving victory in the fourth ODI against Pakistan. Chasing a reduced target of 223 in 39 overs after a Mohammad Hafeez century, West Indies were given a flying start by Lendl Simmons, who made 76 from 70 balls, but an untimely burst of wickets left them needing Bravo's late injection of humpty to secure a one-run victory courtesy of Duckworth-Lewis.
In a game punctuated by rain delays, the denouement was dramatic. West Indies had at one stage been coasting to victory, with Simmons and the recalled Ramnaresh Sarwan going steady in a 75-run stand for the third wicket, but when both men fell in the space of seven deliveries, the final overs turned into a scramble, with Bravo and Marlon Samuels struggling to get the better of a disciplined bowling attack.
At 148 for 4 after 29 overs, the scores were tied on D/L. With orders ringing out from the dressing room, Bravo leant back to wallop Afridi for the decisive blow over midwicket, then blocked out two more balls before the heavens opened. The result was West Indies' first victory over senior opposition since India's tour of the Caribbean in June 2009, and though it arrived by an unconventional means, it was no less welcome for that fact.
The final result was due reward for Simmons' purposeful approach to the run-chase. His opening partner, Kirk Edwards, was caught behind off Junaid Khan for a golden duck, but that set-back did not impede his approach in the slightest. After a let-off from the keeper, Mohammad Salman, on 3, Simmons smashed Tanvir Ahmed over midwicket for six before repeating the dose in Tanvir's next over, which went for 20 all told, including consecutive fours for Simmons, the first from a free hit, and an effortless flick off the pads from Darren Bravo.
In the very next over, Bravo undid his good work with a rank slap to third man to give Junaid his second wicket of the innings, whereupon Sarwan arrived to embark on the partnership that should have made the game safe. He had reached 28 from 56 balls when he allowed his good work to go to waste with a limp chip to mid-off, before Simmons chased a hint of width from Tanvir and holed out to deep point. But Dwayne and the rain ensured their efforts were not in vain.
If the defeat was harsh on any one player, it was the Man of the Match Hafeez, who confirmed his new-found reliability at the top of the order with a superbly paced 121 from 138 balls, his second ODI hundred of the year and of his career. On his watch, Pakistan posted a dominant 248 for 9, the highest total in the series to date, although it could have been more formidable still but for the wiles of Devendra Bishoo, whose legbreaks claimed 3 for 37, and applied an emergency brake to an innings that had been running away from West Indies at 210 for 3 in the 44th over.
In five of his previous seven ODIs, Hafeez had made scores between 32 and 61, and he followed up with another measured anchor role. Though he had struck his third ball of the day, from Roach, through point for four, he had added just one more boundary, again from Roach, in a 40-ball 25, when the rain started falling in the 12th over. Upon the resumption, however, he lifted the tempo to good effect.
Dwayne Bravo's fourth over went for 14 runs, including the first six of the innings, before Sammy was launched over midwicket with a disdainful pull. At the other end, Shafiq bedded in to play the supporting role. He notched up just one boundary in his first 58 deliveries, a lofted swat off Sammy, having survived a tough caught-and-bowled opportunity from the previous delivery, but together with Hafeez, he scarcely put a foot wrong in a 153-run stand for the second wicket.
Bravo eventually forced the breakthrough in the 39th over, when he brought up his midwicket to tempt a cross-batted stroke, and Shafiq duly obliged with a flick to long-on. Afridi promoted himself to No. 4 for a quick bash, and though he swiped a Roach beamer for four through third man, he fell one ball later to a front-foot swipe to mid-off as Roach dug the ball in.
Hafeez by this stage had eased along to his century, but Bishoo ensured the gloss would be taken off the innings with three wickets in the space of six balls. The reliable Misbah-ul-Haq was bowled off the back pad for 5, before Hammad Azam's skittish innings of 1 ended with a wipe to leg gully, one ball after Bishoo had dropped him off his own bowling. The big wicket, however, was that of Hafeez, who was bowled by a beauty that dipped and turned from leg to middle, as Pakistan slipped to 220 for 7.
A pair of crass run-outs accounted for Mohammad Salman and the new boy Usman Salahuddin, but his fellow ODI debutant, Tanvir, smacked a four and two sixes in a 12-ball 18, to ensure a difficult chase lay ahead for West Indies. Nevertheless, that late loss of momentum would prove crucial in the final reckoning.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo