West Indies v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, St Lucia July 19, 2013

West Indies steal tie off panicked Pakistan


Pakistan 229 for 6 (Misbah 75, Akmal 40*) tied with West Indies 229 for 9 (Simmons 75, Samuels 46, Holder 19*, Ajmal 3-36)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

After 97 overs of play, Pakistan were clearly the better side on the day, and by some distance. Needing 39 off the last three then, with only two wickets in hand, West Indies managed to induce an almighty panic in the Pakistan ranks, which included the first boundary hit off Saeed Ajmal - three came in one cluster now; a fielder failing to pick the ball in the deep, costing them three runs; poor field settings in the last over with 15 to defend against the last pair of Jason Holder and Kemar Roach; and then an easy run-out fluffed off the last ball to allow West Indies a tie. West Indies celebrated as if they had won, and Pakistan were crestfallen, which was about right.

Pakistan will think of the erroneous call of a short run that went against them when Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz were taking 52 off the last 4.2 overs. The two same men would now commit the final fatal mistakes. Before that, though, it was Sunil Narine who turned the momentum. Ajmal had been all over West Indies with the wickets of Lendl Simmons, who scored 75, and Dwayne Bravo in his ninth over to turn 62 off 42 with six wickets in hand into 39 off 18 with just two wickets standing.

With nothing left to lose, Narine swung and he swung clean. The first ball went flat over long-off, inside-out no less. Ajmal fired the next ball in, and Narine drilled it to long-on, but Riaz there moved to his left as opposed to right where the ball was. The angry Ajmal slowed the next ball down, and drew a dot, but Narine came down the wicket to send him to the left of long-off. Ajmal came back with a quick offbreak to peg Narine's off stump back, and it was down to 24 off 12 for Holder and Roach.

Despite a flicked four past midwicket, Junaid did his job, giving away just nine in the 49th. The difference between Junaid and Riaz was the angle. Riaz bowled over the stumps but with the same field of mid-off up and long-on back. He began with two singles first up, but that mid-off remained a risky placement. As it turned out, Holder threaded - an incredible shot for a No. 11 - the third between mid-off and cover for four. More incredible acts were to follow.

Riaz changed his length, and drew a dot with a short ball to make it nine required off the last two, but bowled length on the penultimate ball. Holder smoked it clean over extra cover. Dwayne Bravo would have been proud of that shot. Now they were panicking big time. A big conference resulted, but the field didn't change. Riaz bowled short, which more or less took the field down the ground out of the equation. Holder swung, got a thick edge, which flew to third man who was aptly stationed fine. Junaid fielded well and sent in a decent throw on a decent bounce but just to the right of the keeper.

Holder was gone by yards had Akmal, a part-time wicketkeeper lest it be forgotten, collected it cleanly. He didn't. Holder made it. He over-ran so far West Indies couldn't even try a possible overthrow. The ball, though, had gone straight to straight midwicket.

West Indies might have come out of this level in the series, but their approach of backing themselves to keeping pace with astronomical asking rates in the final few overs against an attack that has no obvious weak link is ill-advised. Chasing 230 on a good batting track, West Indies lost early wickets - as has become their wont - and consolidated so slowly that the asking rate crossed six in the 26th over. After the early blows, Pakistan had enough overs of Ajmal towards to all but ensure the victory.

Pakistan followed the same pattern when they were asked to bat first. Ahmed Shehzad and Nasir Jamshed didn't do much better than Johnson Charles and Chris Gayle, the last of whom now has the worst average among all openers who have played at least 10 innings in the last 12 months. It was followed by slow rebuilding with Misbah-ul-Haq, like Simmons, scoring 75.

At that time, the big difference seemed to be the West Indies part-timers at the death. Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard on paper should have been no match for Ajmal and Junaid and Riaz. It seemed to be going down that route until pressure burnt off that paper, and a side that used to be the most feared in tight situations now added one more panic attack to their recent history.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Team combination is very poor. pakistan playing with 6 bowlers who can bowl their quoted 10 over (6x10=60 overs) in every match without any problem and still can not defend 230 runs. all other teams are got good batsmen up to no.9 but pakistan batting stops at no.7. when pakistan realize that a team can not become a good ODI team only depends on bowling or batting. A good ODI combination should be (5 batsmen + 1 batting all rounder + 1 Wicket keeper + 2 bowling rounders + 2 Bowlers ).

  • Sammy on July 21, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Yet again a 'POOR' show of captaincy by Misbah Ul Haq!! I hope & pray that this is his last series as ODI captain!! Afridi deserves the captaincy & he should get it! Afridi is the man who can perform in this role FAR, FAR better than any player in the team! Lets not forget people: Umar Akmal & Afridi come to bat when there are hardly 10 overs left in the innings and they scramble for runs try to put decent score... If they do then they are considered heros and if they don't then they are dropped... Imagine this ordeal.... Drop freaking Hafeez, Nasir, Asad from the team; when was last time they performed...

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    I think both teams played well, however in these days the umpiring has become a major issue and lots of bad decisions are seen to made one after another. The umpire decision in giving one short run of Kamran Akmal was crucial and the result could have been different.

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    Misba needs a rest ae a captain.Saeed Ajmal needs to take over him.No need for Haffez and Afridi and Riaz in plsying 11.pak hav better alrounder than them in nsme like Abdul Razzak,Hammed Azazm, Shoib maksood, Anwar ali can hit the ball for mikes he is a clean striker.its a logic if u pkay whith proper batsman than you will score more and u can defend the total also with your avrage bowling unit like India but quality bowling will not win u matches with 200 to defend.if i can select a team for Pak i dream of selecting this squad1)Ahmed Shazad 2)jamshed 3)Shoib maksood 4)Umer akmal 5)Misba 6)Harris sohel 7)Abdul razzak 8)Anwar ali 9)Saeed Ajmal my captain 10 )juned khan 11)irfan my reserves sould be 12)Fawad Alam 13)Hammed Azam 14 ) Raza hassan 15) Mhd Rizwan 16) Mhd AMIR if he is back playing.Pak needs move on with type of team and groom your young players by giving them matches. i feel its only 2015 world cup than misba is going to retire than what will pcb.Need to groom players.

  • Cricket on July 20, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    @ Posted by SaadRocx on (July 20, 2013, 15:10 GMT) :

    I compleately agree with you. W.Riaz should not be in the team. Misbah's captainy & knock were pathetic putting extra pressure on the other batsmen. As a result now Jamshed has lost his aggression. If Misbah continues as captain the team will be filled with tuk-tuk's like him.


  • Cricket on July 20, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    Why do Pakistan need a sixth bowler (W.Riaz), when Pakistan's batting is so week and fragile. W.Riaz should be replaced by UMAR AMIN.

    Afridi & Hafeez are doing better than Riaz in the bowling roles. Their batting can be an added bonus if it clicks. Add to that Afridi fielding and Hafeez better than average fielding. Riaz is a horrible filelder. SOHAIL'S debute was not bad at all.


  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    Misbah is the most senseless captain in world cricket today. It the 2nd time in last two months when he could not defend a target of 15 runs in the last over. First time it was against Ireland. That match ended in a tie only because Ireland's target was increased because of D/L system. Here he chose Wahab Riaz for the last over because he never knew that Wahab is the most expensive Pakistani ODI bowler. Perhaps nobody in the Pakistan think tank knew about it. He did not let Hafeez bowl his full quota when he was bowling beautifully to WI established batsmen. Hafeez was the least expensive of all the Pakistani bowlers. Misbah remains listless on the ground and very rarely seen guiding his players. When he scores 50's Pakistan's other batsmen come under pressure to maintain the increased run rate and when he gets out early they are under pressure to save further loss of wickets. Pakistan needs a young and aggressive captain as soon as possible.

  • Ata on July 20, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    @Jonathan Bynoe: We are not complaining about Misbah just about his slow batting, it includes his wrong decisions, If Hafeez is not performing why he is playing in the team? Nasir Jamshed is being given continuous chances, but axe always fall on Asad Shafiq, looking at Misbah slow approach other batsman have also gone defensive, Now Muhammad Rizwan WK is with the team, he is a good batsman, instead of giving him chance they are playing with part time keeper. They threw Razzaq/Hamad Azam for Wahab Riaz. In champions trophy they got umer amin in place of Afridi, and we saw the performance of umer amin. FYI Pak team is always selected with suggestion of the Captain. And in last but not the least, if Misbah slow approach is not going to win matches for Pakistan, why he insist to play the same approach time and again.

  • Derek on July 20, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    @Reuelsean , well said! One sure way to give the opposition the upper hand is to panic. WI supporters seem to think that the opposition do not improve from game to game or are entitled to apply what they learn from playing against the WI as factors of what is needed to beat them.

  • Ata on July 20, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    @Mahi Kashmiri: People have short memories, Yousuf made place in the team when inzi, Saeed, Younis khan were part of the team, this Misbah made first match to play in 2001, but was incompetent to make place in presence of inzi, saeed and other stars.

    Had Misbah got out early yesterday, Umer Akmal and Wahab could have played some more shots, and Pakistan could have scored some more runs. Razaq was in the team because waseem and Inzi believed his abilities, now Misbah is captain and he is making the players to bat at no 3 which he believes in, he get rid of Razzaq saying he can't control senior players, He trust in Wahab Riaz as a bowler, so he gave the result, in other matches he dropped Junaid khan for Asad Ali. In last 3 matches afrdi bowled one single bad over, so he did not give him over again, which repent him in the last.