Gros Islet, Apr 24 : Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, and Mohammad Hafeez all coasted to half-centuries as Pakistan clinched a comfortable eight-wicket win over West Indies in the first one-day international.
Misbah hit the top score of an unbeaten 73 from 90 deliveries, and Shafiq supported with 61 not out from 76 balls, after man-of-the-match Hafeez gave the Pakistanis a flying start with 54 from 45 balls in their successful chase of 222 for victory yesterday.
Shafiq ushered Pakistan over the finish line with 51 balls remaining when he edged a slog at a delivery from Kemar Roach to third man for a single. The result gave Pakistanis a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, which continues on Monday at the same Beausejour ground.Wayward bowling from the visitors in the closing overs had let West Indies finish with 221 for six from their 50 overs.
Wahab Riaz was the most successful bowler with two for 62 from 10 overs, but he and fellow left-arm fast-medium bowler Junaid Khan let their side down.Pakistan's spin bowling triumvirate of Saeed Ajmal, Hafeez and captain Shahid Afridi tied the West Indies batsmen down in the middle overs in particular.
But the two Pakistani left-arm pacers did not have the same control over the home team's batsmen and Darren Bravo hit 67 from 109 balls to lead the way for West Indies.“I was very happy when West Indies won the toss and chose to bat because I thought the pitch would help our spinners,” Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said.
“I think our spinners have been doing a great job for us in the last few months, and they again set things up for us.
“The way the openers Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad played was also good to see, and then the partnership between Misbah and Asad brought us home. It was good cricket all around for us.”
Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad then gave the visitors a blistering start in an opening stand of 68 before Devendra Bishoo snared both of them in the space of 25 balls to end with two for 48 from his 10 overs.
Shehzad moving down the pitch was stumped for 22 in the 13th over off the leg-spinner, and Hafeez, whose 50 came from 48 balls, was caught at short mid-wicket in the 17th over off the same bowler.
Misbah joined Shafiq and they marched Pakistan to victory with an unbroken, third-wicket stand of 134, a record for any wicket on the ground.
“We put ourselves in a hole when we were batting,and the spinners were bowling, so we really have to come better in the next game,” said West Indies captain Darren Sammy whose team also lost to Pakistan in last month's World Cup quarter-finals. (AFP)