Second semi-final

Pakistan v West Indies


At Southampton, September 22. West Indies won by seven wickets. Toss: Pakistan. One-day international debut: Salman Butt.

No match could have typified better the reputation of Pakistan and their captain for unpredictability. In the tournament's 13 previous games, only once, when Bangladesh disintegrated against South Africa, had the captain winning the toss chosen to bat. In cloudy conditions utterly suited to bowling, Inzamam-ul-Haq defied both form and logic. Lara could hardly disguise his delight as the batsmen struggled to cope. Pakistan lost the 19-year-old debutant Salman Butt (blooding him was another odd decision) in the first over, but somehow picked their way to 64 for one after 18 overs. Yasir Hameed was even threatening a big score when he risked a second run to third man and was beaten by Bravo's pinpoint throw. Thereafter, the batsmen fell like mown grass. Yasir hit six boundaries, his colleagues three between them as they plummeted to 131 all out. In mitigation, they could cite the cold, the damp and the pitch, though movement was never extreme. Shoaib Akhtar tore in at speeds of up to 95mph from the start of the West Indian reply, and blew away both openers. But despite murky light, Sarwan and Lara looked unhurried - until Shoaib unleashed a snorter of a short delivery that Lara misjudged. As he turned away, the ball slammed into his neck just behind his jaw and he collapsed to the ground. Lara wanted to continue, but dizziness prevented him. It emerged later that as Lara had walked out to bat, Shoaib had greeted him with a cheery "I'm going to kill you." It was a day when everything Pakistan did was ill-judged, and Sarwan calmly took West Indies to victory.

Man of the Match: R. R. Sarwan. Attendance: 8,000

© John Wisden & Co