Pakistan v West Indies, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 31, 2014

Teams battle for last semi-final spot

Play 01:03
Crowe: 50-50 between Pakistan and West Indies

Match facts

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Start time 1930 local (13:30 GMT)

Big Picture

It is a knockout scenario for both teams, with the winner going through to the semi-finals. They have the same number of wins (two) and points (four) but the defending champions West Indies enjoy a higher net run-rate, +1.223, against Pakistan's +0.893. In the event of a washout West Indies will go through on their higher net run-rate, but the forecast is for clear weather.

Pakistan batted first in their last three games but they are yet to be tested chasing a target. West Indies, on the contrary, have defended and chased targets in the group stage. Hence, the toss could be a decisive factor for Pakistan.

Both teams have quality spinners and are capable of posting big scores. Both lost their opening matches to India but bounced back strongly to register successive victories against Australia and Bangladesh. The contest on April 1 will be their first ever meeting in a World T20. They have played just three T20s in two bilateral series since 2011, with Pakistan winning their last two encounters in 2013.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)

Pakistan WWLLW
West Indies WWLLW

In the spotlight

Though he has scores of 34, 48 and 53, Chris Gayle hasn't exploded in the manner he is known for. He was unusually cautious against Bangladesh, scoring a run-a-ball 48. However, bowlers like Saeed Ajmal cannot be complacent against him and will have to guard against a backlash from Gayle.

With every passing game, Shoaib Malik's role in the side comes under the scanner. He has scores of 18, 6* and 26, and hasn't bowled in any of the three games. He is playing his fourth World T20 and all have been quiet, with bat and ball.

Pitch and conditions

With sunshine predicted through the day, the Mirpur pitch is expected to remain dry but it gets sluggish in the evening. The dew hasn't been a factor in the last three matches but Pakistan have been training with the wet ball recently to get used to it.

Team news

West Indies might retain their winning line-up from the Australia match.

West Indies (likely): 1 Dwayne Smith, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Lendl Simmons, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Darren Sammy (capt), 7 Andre Russell, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Samuel Badree, 11 Krishmar Santokie.

Pakistan too have no reason to change their winning combination. In the previous match, Pakistan brought in the experienced bowler Sohail Tanvir.

Pakistan (likely): 1 Kamran Akmal (wk), 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammad Hafeez (capt), 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Sohaib Maqsood, 8 Sohail Tanvir, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Zulfiqar Babar

Stat and trivia

  • In three matches against West Indies, Mohammad Hafeez has figures of 3 for 36 from 9 overs, with an average of 12 and an economy rate of 4. He has dismissed Gayle twice in these matches, for 5 and 1
  • Umar Akmal has two 40-plus scores in three T20I innings against West Indies, including a Man-of-the-Match effort of 46 not out the last time the two teams played each other, in Kingstown in 2013
  • In the tournament so far, West Indies' spinners have taken 13 wickets at an average of 14.38 and an economy rate of 6.09, compared to Pakistan spinners' 10 wickets at 24.40 and an economy-rate of 6.59


"It is very difficult to predict how the teams will play but I know it will be a nail-biting game. Come that game, we will be aware of what exactly we need to do. We need to play well to get out of this group of death and look forward to playing in the semi-final."
West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo

"The team that plays spinners well will win the match. We know that it is a match where we can't make a mistake."
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here