West Indies v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Providence April 7, 2017

Mohammed, Nurse ace West Indies' highest successful chase


West Indies 309 for 6 (Jason Mohammed 91*, Powell 61, Amir 2-59) beat Pakistan 308 for 5 (Hafeez 88, Shehzad 67, Nurse 4-62) by four wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ashley Nurse took four wickets and followed it up with a valuable cameo with the bat to help West Indies go 1-0 up © AFP

This is one way to nail a 300-plus chase, a method no cricket manual, traditional or modern, would recommend. West Indies themselves may have not planned to finish it off this way, but they did. Jason Mohammed played the innings of his life as West Indies clawed their way back into a contest they didn't even seem to be a part of for 35 overs of the chase.

They needed 128 from 13 overs when Jason Mohammed suddenly exploded into life, treating Pakistan's vaunted fast-bowling attack with disdain, as Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali were all on the receiving end of hammerings in the slog overs.

When Pakistan realised there was life yet in the contest, Jason Mohammed was one step ahead of everything the bowlers, and an increasingly panic-stricken Sarfraz Ahmed, could throw at him. Ashley Nurse gave Jason Mohammed adequate support towards the end as Pakistan's sizeable advantage vanished before their disbelieving eyes. Before the small Guyana crowd could pinch themselves, their side had beaten Pakistan into submission and romped to their highest-successful ODI chase.

A West Indies win appeared unlikely after Kieron Powell - the only batsman who had attempted to inject any impetus into the West Indies innings in the first half - and wicketkeeper Shai Hope fell within 10 balls of each other. They were both dismissed off quality deliveries, Wahab deceiving Powell with a beautifully disguised slower ball, while Shadab extracted sharp turn and bounce to catch Hope out of his crease while Sarfraz broke the stumps.

While it appeared that the last rites were being read, Jason Mohammad harboured a secret. He thought, naively, that the West Indies could still win. Never mind that they had barely spluttered past second gear all match, or that Pakistan's bowlers had quality to burn, or that the West Indies had never chased a total above 300 in an ODI.

He began by hitting boundaries while looking like he just wanted to have a bit of fun. Pakistan appeared to be taken in for a while, going through the motions, letting the game stroll through to its inevitable conclusion. But then they suddenly looked up: 82 to win off nine overs with six wickets in hand. Nothing about that looked impossible, especially not with Jason Mohammad smelling blood.

Earlier, Pakistan had posted an apparently impregnable 308, breaking the record for the highest innings score at the Providence Stadium in Guyana. Their innings came to life in the last 10 overs - they smashed 92 - after falling away briefly in the middle overs. Their success at keeping wickets in hand, combined with the brilliant ball-striking of Shoaib Malik ensured they went past the 303 that had been the record for this ground.

The groundwork was laid by Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez after Pakistan were put in to bat on a newly laid surface. If Shehzad and fellow opener Kamran Akmal, returning to the ODI side after a four-year gap, were unsure of how the pitch would play, they didn't show it, attacking at every available opportunity, and not afraid of hitting the ball in the air; they added 59 in the first 10 overs.

The pace of the innings dropped off significantly after Kamran's dismisal for a 49-ball 48. Hafeez - surprisingly sent in ahead of the in-form Babar Azam - struggled for rhythm, and seemed to get worse, not better, as his innings wore on, struggling to rotate the strike or even find the middle of the bat at times. No boundary was scored between overs 25.3 and 37 as Pakistan's strike rate slipped below five an over.

Then he suddenly moved from sluggish to sensational in the last third of his innings to somewhat make up for his near lapse. At one stage, he had scored 31 off 53, but smashed 57 of his last 39 balls to finish with an innings-defining 88 off 92. His change in approach coincided with Malik's arrival at the crease, who was instrumental in providing impetus to an innings that had been threatening to stagnate. When he did hole out straight down the ground for 53 off 38 balls, Pakistan were well on course for a total beyond 300 that looked unlikely before his intervention.

But unbeknownst to everyone watching, Hafeez and co. had merely been the warm-up act to Jason Mohammad and Ashley Nurse. The so-called second-string internationals, in the absence of their IPL superstars, were about to put on a second innings show that will live not just long in the memory, but immortally in the record books.

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ali on April 10, 2017, 14:44 GMT

    well, I hope Mohammed enjoys playing for WI , while he can..

    As soon as West Indies Domestic Competitions are over her will be dropped ...

    WICB only want to keep him away from T&T.... They have done this many times to T&T players...

    then they will say, he is ineligible because he did not play domestic cricket... they had done this a few times already, to various players ...

  • usw8734401993 on April 10, 2017, 0:12 GMT

    instead of basing sarfraz blame hafeez who was playing a test innings. aswell ad wahab who is a run pinayata. I'm his fan jn test only. sarfraz is still learning bit hafeez has no excuse nearly 16 years and 100s of chances yet still not decent with the bat.

  • Cricinfouser on April 9, 2017, 11:21 GMT

    sad to see holder and gabriel still in the team and kesrick and samuels are sitting out. rovman Powell may be a good batsman and a decent fielder but his fielding is way below normal. he is wearing that sun glass and can hardly stop a ball. he needs to needs to get some training lessons from the great gus logie.

  • Heramb on April 9, 2017, 8:08 GMT

    Congrats to WI on their maiden successful 300+ run chase in ODIs. Looking forward an encore today that would give the host Caribbean side their 1st ODI series win against Pakistan for over a decade.Would serve as a balm for fans of Caribbean cricket like me considering WI faced whitewashes in their previous 2 bilateral ODI series against Pakistan in UAE and England at home besides failing to qualify for the tri-series final in Zimbabwe involving SL in Nov'16.Jason Mohammed & Ashley Nurse stunned the Pakistanis with their hitting in the final overs,a fact the potent Pakistani attack had not factored in in the absence of WI power hitters like Carlos Brathwaite,Chris Gayle & Kieron Pollard.Pakistan will need to rethink the composition of their attack considering Wahab's recent struggles to stem the flow of runs in his recent ODI appearances.Surprised not to see Junaid Khan in the mix after making a comeback to Pak's ODI XI on their recent tour of Australia.

  • joel on April 9, 2017, 0:58 GMT

    Ramdin has an average similar to Shai Hope, but is so much better than him with the gloves that it's embarrassing to compare them. It seems that it's not about Ramdin but who can be forced to try to fill his place. Similarly, putting Holder as captain hurt his effectiveness as a player, though he is admittedly a player with long term usefulness. The result of the first ODI was a welcome outcome for the locals, but let's be honest,West Indies didn't win. Pakistan lost.

  • iserum2002@yahoo.com on April 8, 2017, 23:39 GMT

    good learning lesson for captain, it is 50 over match and have to play 50 over to win it. the point of keeping agar captain is Australia not make perfect nonsense sarfraz could have gained lot of experience even though it was a given pakistan will loose so you gain something out of loss. WI played with purpose Pakistan didn't in last 15 overs, there are 5-7 overs left between hafeez and malik not sure why they were not used. pakistan lost game in while batting between 27-40 over when Babar and Hafeez played poorly and slow from that point 350 should be a score against very poor bowling attack, if not for Malik innings they end up at 280. Babar Azam should play innings of rotating strike he keep loosing his wickets in playing big shots which is not his game, his game is run a ball as many he can score. he needs to understand his role, he is missing it on regular basis, he do not want to be another umar akmal. i wish misbah played as player not captain so sarfaraz get some experience

  • M on April 8, 2017, 22:15 GMT

    @METMAN: You again conveniently left out the fact that the pitch was relaid a few months ago and is no longer the slow, turning pitch it used to be. Had it been, this team would not have made 200. You also left out the runout chance Hope had by not throwing the ball to the stumps. Instead he stretched to knock the bails off with his gloves, and the extra second costed us a runout. It shows that he's not yet comfortable with the gloves to trust himself to throw accurately with the gloves on from 2 metres away. He's a capable batsman, but by no means a capable keeper. If Walton plays, he must keep. Otherwise, drop Walton for Rovman. And deny it all you want, but Ramdin was/is one of the best keepers WI ever had, even batting-wise, and if he had continued to play out his career, he would definitely been the best without a doubt. This was proven many times a few articles back.

  • mohammad on April 8, 2017, 22:05 GMT

    I have been watching cricket for more than 40 years and Pak cricket team and management is the most controvercial team and management. How in the world they allowed Hafiz at no 3? Listen to what commentators were saying when Hafiz and Babar Azam were playing together and giving 3,4 dot balls an over. Hafiz's failure to rotate strike caused Babar to throw his wickt in frustration, you can see that. Pakistan does not have big hitters like WI have. Then why spin bowlers did not bowl full quota, is another question, WI is know to have weakness against spin. Pakistan may bounce back, but poor decision by captain and coach gave away the 1st match. Sarfaraz needs to play at no 5 and Hafiz after him. Babar at no 3, Malik and Sarfarz at no. 4 and 5, As long as Wahab is there, WI can expect to score 10 runs an over from him.He has done that consistently. 2, 3 overs good bowling followed by 5 overs of very poor bowling, his trademark.

  • shani on April 8, 2017, 22:04 GMT

    Please sarfaraz!! What are you doing man, sending hafeez instead of babr azam??? Is it justice?? He has an average of 80+ as one down batsman and he is not that kind of player who is good after 30 over he should come as one down and play his game, pakistan got a start by ahmed and kamran but hafeez ruins it away by playing dots ball which created pressure on k.akmal and babar azam to play strokes,, his 80+ was really selfish inning, pakistan should made above 330 or 350 on that condition,,, but after that bowling was not good when jason mohammad was going hard no one tryies a yourker or slow yourker,, they were just going with the flow..... Fingure crossed for the next match,,,, sarfaraz should focus on his ability,, he is looking panic after kamran akmal arrives....

  • michael on April 8, 2017, 21:31 GMT

    @metman. Shai Hope has reached new heights of being the worst international keeper taking only 57 % of chances. Whilst you try to celebrate Pollard getting hit for 30 runs in 2 overs, you fail to mention that he batted then bowled through the pain from a direct hit on the right elbow from a wayward throw from bowler Tahir whilst grounding his bat. He batted and bowled with his elbow heavily strapped when many others would have left the field for the rest of the match. He was on 22 from 13 when this happened and ended with 27 from 17. Yes I saw that match. No such excuse for Carlos who made 1 from 5 and got hit for 29 in 2 overs.

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