One-Day Mataram

Deconstructing the gentleman's game

Pakistan allow West Indies to reach 241

Some people might say Pakistan restricted West Indies to 241 in their first match, but given the fact that West Indies scored 58 runs off the last five overs, one would really have to say that Pakistan let West Indies get away to 241 after flattering to bundle out the West Indians under 200.

West Indies will have to blame the 'almost selfish' display by Chanderpaul who scored a 63-ball 19. Lara, who looked very assured in his brief innings against India in the warm-up match, scratched around mostly... only occasionally producing a sparkling shot. However what was conspicuous about Lara's innings was the dearth of authoritative straight strokes. Samuels, the one player in the West Indian team with talent and class much above others bar Lara, was a delight to watch. His calculated assault on Kaneria ensured that Kaneria could not make use of the spin the pitch since he was reduced to bowling fast and flat. On the whole, the West Indian innings lacked a plan and progressed in fits and starts.

Pakistani bowling was pretty good. The two stand-out bowlers were Umar Gul and Rao Ifthikar... the latter bowling a consistently tight line with just enough movement to cause trouble to the batsmen. The spinners were merely adequate and the lack of ability to play spin cost West Indies dear.

242 is hardly an imposing target. But it is one that will allow Lara the peace of mind to attack in the initial part of the Pakistani innings. Having no genuine spinner in the side will mean that the new ball should be made to count. Though I do foresee Samuels playing further part in this match. All this makes for an interesting second half.

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