Pakistan Head To The Final

The West Indies tumbled out of the VB Series when they lost to Pakistan by 30 runs, failing to chase 308 runs needed for victory. This, after Pakistan piled up 307/8 in 50 overs, batting first on a belter of a Perth pitch.

Rana Naved-ul-Hasan was the star for Pakistan. He took 4 for 29 from 9.1 overs, including the wickets of both openers – Gayle and Powell – and Champions Trophy heroes, Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw.

Gayle (0) was out to the third ball of the innings, edging a beautiful away-seamer, then Powell (23) later to another beauty.

Powell looked completely at sea in his time at the crease, in blatant contrast to the flowing form of Sarwan. Ramnaresh Sarwan went on to topscore for the West Indies with a brilliant 87 off 91 balls, but was dismissed at the crucial stage to brake the West Indian momentum – 194/4. The partnership of 95 for the fourth wicket was broken and the second member of the stand, Chanderpaul was out 4 runs later.

The innings began to unravel, despite knocks of 30 and 36 from Wavell Hinds and Courtney Browne respectively, and it was all over at the start of the 49th over – 277 all out.

Following on from his magnificent match-winning 156 in the last game against Pakistan, Brian Lara began in tremendous form, but a poor attempted pull at a wide delivery resulted in a simple catch to midon to send him on his way for 19 off 20 balls. The score was then 99/3 in the 16th over, and the chase was severely set back.

Earlier Pakistan was inserted in perfect batting conditions. The top order batsmen struggled through the initial 25 overs in the face of some accurate bowling, scoring only 102 runs for the loss of three wickets. The men out at that stage were Salman Butt (19), Kamran Akmal (17) and Yasir Hameed (24). The former two were dismissed by the steady Ian Bradshaw, who finished with the best figures of 10-1-47-3.

Yousuf Youhana batted calmly with his captain to rebuild the innings. The acceleration was progressive but very apparent and ultimately Pakistan scored 178 runs from the last 20 overs, led by a magnificent Youhana century.

The partnership between the two most experienced players in the side was 134 runs strong, and was finally broken due a clever delivery from Dwayne Bravo. Inzamam swung across a slower ball, missed and was bowled for 74 off 67 balls. He hit 10 fours in the captain’s innings.

Youhana lost the company of Razzaq (7) to a brilliant stumping by Browne off Hinds, but found a good partner in Shahid Afridi. The explosive right-hander smashed a full toss from Hinds for a huge six over long-on, then executed an unbelievable wristy tap to dispatch a Bravo delivery from outside offstump over midwicket for another.

He was bowled by Bradshaw for 23 off 10 balls and the score was then 279/6 in the 48th over. Seeing the ball exceptionally and far from content with the work already done, Youhana increased the tempo and moved to his 11th One Day International hundred in the 49th over. He was then the first of two runouts by Bravo for 105 off 100 balls.

Pakistan closed on 307/8, a very challenging target. The West Indies, always up for a chasing challenge, kept pace with the required run rate for most of the innings, largely due to Sarwan’s and Chanderpaul’s comfortable stay at the crease. Both batsmen looked set to allow their team to cruise to victory, then Afridi stepped in.

Peddling his legbreaks, he had Sarwan stumped smartly by Kamran Akmal 8 overs after Butt dropped the him in the deep. The score then 194/4 turned to 198/5 as Chanderpaul disappointing chipped Iftikhar Anjum to short cover for a soft dismissal. He made 58 off 64 balls and his departure set Pakistan firmly in control.

Dwayne Bravo (1) made little impact with the bat before he lost his middle stump to Afridi and the game looked won by Pakistan. Still, Hinds and Browne fought on with a partnership of 54 off 53 balls. They whittled the equation down to 51 needed off 37 balls when Hinds was caught by Inzamam of Mohammad Khalil, who had earlier dismissed Lara.

The notion of ‘game over’ was further stated soon after – Bradshaw bowled by Rana for a duck. A further 18 runs were added, largely in a solo effort from Browne, but he was ultimately last out.

The West Indies finish third among the three teams in the series and return home empty-handed as far as silverware is concerned. Pakistan will contest the best of three finals against Australia, starting on Friday.

Score Summary:

Pakistan innings 307/8 (50 overs)
Yousuf Youhana 105 (100), Inzamam-ul-Haq 74 (67)
IDR Bradshaw 3/47 (10)

West Indies innings 277 ao (49.1 overs)
RR Sarwan 87 (91), S Chanderpaul 58 (64), CO Browne 36 (33)
Naved-ul-Hasan 4/29 (9.1), Shahid Afridi 2/47 (10), Mohammad Khalil 2/59 (10)

Result: Pakistan won by 30 runs
Man of the Match: Yousuf Youhana (Pak)

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