The best place to break a drought is in the ‘land of many waters’ Guyana and the West Indies could well end one against Pakistan tomorrow, that has been going on for the past 21 years, when they face them in the second match of the Brighto Paints presents Q-Mobile Cup from 9.30am Sunday.
The last time the West Indies defeated Pakistan in a bilateral series was way back in 1991 when Richie Richardson led the team to a 2-0 win over Imran Khan’s men. The last time the West Indies won a series was in 2014 when they defeated Bangladesh 3-0 in the Caribbean. However, more importantly the West Indies are trying to gain points from a series win to ease into the top eight of the ICC rankings by the end of September to gain automatic qualification for the 2019 ICC World Cup in England.
After their sensational win the first match of the series on Friday, the West Indies will be hoping for more of the same today but left handed batsman Keiran Powell is warning against complacency. :”We can’t be careless and take things for granted or else we can still lose the series 2-1. Last night at the team meeting we said that we are going to go into this game with the mindset that the series is still nil-nil.” Powell scored a valuable 61 batting at number three, as the West Indies chased down 309 runs for victory in the opening match. He held the innings together facing 86 balls and understands his role as a senior member of the squad :”I have gained a lot of experience because of the fact that I have played before with very senior players like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul before and my role is to offer then a sense of calm being one of the senior men in the team.”
Jason Mohammed scored a brilliant 91 not out of 58 balls with 11 fours and three sixes to take the Windies home. His partner in destruction was Ashley Nurse who made an unbeaten 34 of 15 balls with five fours and a six.
Powell is looking forward to another batting feast :”A bit better than traditional Guyana pitch. Before there was no way we would have been chasing over 300 runs but the ball seems to be coming on better which is making it easier for stroke play. The spinners didn’t not get generous turn because the ball stuck and made playing through the line difficult. However, the pitch is much better and we look forward to another good one tomorrow.”
The West Indies are expected to go into the match with their same team, although Chadwick Walton failed at the top of the order. Pakistan on the other hand may thinker with theirs as death bowlers Mohammed Amir and Wahab Riaz failed to deliver in the opening clash.
The forecast for tomorrow reveals that there will be some cloud cover and an expected shower but nothing too serious to prevent the match from playing. The locals here are all excited about the game and the win by the Windies on Friday has led to activity at the ticket booths. The 2000 or so patrons that showed for the opener, is expected to increase tremendously, also given the fact that it is a Sunday.
West Indies ODI squad: Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton.
Pakistan ODI squad: Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Asif Zakir, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Fahim Ashraf, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Asghar