Dhaka/Calcutta: Tuesday’s West Indies-Pakistan match was billed as a contest of spinners — Sunil Narine vs Saeed Ajmal; Samuel Badree vs Shahid Afridi. Another way of looking at it was how the batsmen of each team countered the spin attack.
In the end, the West Indies triumphed over Pakistan in each of those battles to make it to the semi-finals where they will face Sri Lanka on Thursday.
While Narine and Badree shared six wickets between themselves conceding just 26 runs in 8 overs, Ajmal and Afridi together got only one wicket and gave away 64 runs.
Again, while the duo Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy scored quickfire 46 and 42 not out respectively, the top scorer of the Pakistan innings was captain Mohammed Hafeez who managed a 32-ball 19.
After the match, West Indies captain Sammy said that his team were “really focused”. One can’t disagree with that.
Darren Sammy: We had a different approach today. There was no build-up to this game as opposed to our last match against Australia. In the last match, we were pumped up and in this match we were focused. We were really focused because we knew we were up against a very good bowling side.
We won the toss and then we didn’t opt to chase. Instead, we put runs on the board. They bowled well and that’s why we couldn’t get off to the start we wanted. But then the batsmen recovered well, especially Bravo. In the end, we ended up getting 160-plus, which is what we wanted. Credit to all the batsmen. We got 166… So at the break, we carried the momentum into the dressing room and we were very positive about the result.
We have the No. 1 and No. 2 T20 International bowlers in the world in Narine and Badree. Krishmar Santokie started off our defence really well with a wicket off the very first ball. Bravo, when called upon, did a great job with the ball too. And so did Andre Russell. Overall, we had a great, improved game. Still, I think there are certain areas to improve upon.
Personally, I am very happy with this win and that we are through to the semi-finals. As far as my own batting is concerned, it’s all about backing myself and my abilities. I have worked really hard with the coaches, especially Stuart Williams, regarding my batting. I have been practising batting for the last three days with bowling from round the wicket. It’s just about staying positive. The most important thing is I’m enjoying my cricket.
Mohammed Hafeez: This wasn’t the best of performance from Pakistan. It’s not the display we wanted to put up today. We would have also wanted to bat first. We didn’t bowl well in the final four overs, we didn’t get our basics right. Credit to the West Indies batsmen, especially Bravo and Sammy, for producing a brilliant finish. They took the game away from us.
In the first 16 overs we bowled very well, but they got the momentum in the final four overs. We had panicked a little bit early on in the chase after that first-ball dismissal of Ahmed Shehzad. We needed some technical batting, but we ended up playing far too many loose shots.