C and W International Limited Over SeriesC and W International Limited Over Series

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22 Apr 2000 (Col (Retd) Rafi Nasim)

West Indies equalize the final series

The 2nd of the three match final, most crucial for the two teams commenced at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, amidst a fully packed house. The West Indies opened the innings with Sherwin Campbell and Philo Wallace on a pitch that promised to help the batsmen. Pakistan attacked with the best pair comprising Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. A sparkling four by Philo Wallace of Wasim Akram on the very first ball, not only enthralled the crowd but also looked like giving the West Indies an enterprising start.

Their joy, however, did not last long when in the 3rd over Wasim Akram got Philo Wallace LBW with the score board reading 11 for 1. With the West Indies scoring only 25 runs in the first 10 overs it turned in to be a moderate start.

Just as Sherwin Campbell was well set, the rate of scoring started rising. The batsmen were not missing any singles and also hitting odd boundaries. The 20 overs thus yielded 69 runs. Pakistan got the second lucky break when Wavell Hinds was beautifully caught by Shahid Afridi off Razzaq for a well scored 24 runs. The West Indies were 69 for 2 at this stage Jimmy Adams, the West Indies Captain was the next to go after scoring only 5 runs in 15 balls. Somehow the skipper looked colorless not was facing the Pakistani bowlers with confidence. The West Indies thus lost 3 wickets for 84 runs on the board.

Sherwin Campbell was the lion hearted batsman to keep the West Indies innings intact. Joined by Chris Gayle, both of them held the crease with tremendous confidence. Although they were trying to keep the score board moving, the Pakistani bowlers had restricted them quite well. Leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed troubled them the most, because they were finding it difficult to read him correctly. It was in the 35th over that Sherwin Campbell was able to hoist his individual 50.

The West Indies lost their 4th wicket when Chris Gayle who had given a big boost to the innings was runs out after scoring an exciting 30 runs in 31 balls. The West Indies 134 for 4. After 40 overs, the West Indies were 150 for 4 with the advantage of having a diehard Sherwin Campbell playing with 60 not out.

Surprisingly, this being a one-day game, the first six of the innings came in the 43rd over when Ricardo Powell hooked Razzaq into the grand stand. He was, however, out a little later after scoring a useful 21. Sherwin Campbell, the sheet anchor of the West Indies was out after scoring a gallant inning of 77 runs. At this stage the West Indies were 190 for 6. Two more wickets fell in quick succession bringing the West Indies team to an end at 208 for 8 wickets for taking 3 wickets for 34 runs; Wasim Akram was the chief wrecker.

Keeping in view the Pakistan team's form and performance in the earlier matches, the target of 209 runs did not appear to be a tough on. The Pakistan team had to apply itself with proper concentration, but unfortunately it was not so.

Pakistan opened the innings with its normal pair of Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir but started quite adventurously. Instead of trying to hold the ground, the batsmen resorted to playing shots all over. They perhaps wanted to secure the target in half the number of overs. In the process Shahid Afridi was out after scoring a quick fire 21 runs. In 10 overs Pakistan was 43 for 1.

Younis Khan came in and got into the same stride of hitting boundaries all over the ground, Rather than approaching the target with patience, the batsmen adopted a reckless attitude. In 14 overs Pakistan was 65 as against 45 by the West Indies. Pakistan lost the 2nd wicket at 71 when Imran Nazir was given LBW after scoring 22 runs.

This was followed by a procession of Pakistani batsmen when Inzamam-ul-Haq, and Yousaf Youhana were declared LBW in one over of Reon King. All hopes now rested on Younis Khan who was holding the fort with a defiant 21. Pakistan lost 4 wickets for 79 runs. Younis Khan having been joined by Abdur Razzaq, all the hopes of Pakistan's survival now rested on them.

Unfortunately it was not Pakistan's day with 98 on the score board Razzaq was clean bowled by Adams for 6, quickly followed by Younis Khan declared LBW off Chris Gayle after playing a gallant innings of 31. Pakistan was now 98 for 6 with little hope of coming back into the game.

The Pakistan's batting strength having been virtually demolished, the game was now in the hands of tail-enders. For them the target now was as high as a mountain summit. With the real stalwarts having failed to capture an achievable target, one could not expect the tail-enders to do so. They, however, did their best to carry the Pakistan score to 148 in 45 overs, before the innings ended Pakistan lost the match.

To conclude, it can be said that the target of 208 runs was certainly with in the capacity of Pakistan team to achieve. Over powered by a sense of complacency, their approach to the game was not right. They played without a tangible plan of victory and displayed a reckless attitude. Rather then trying to graft the innings, they resorted to adventuresome.

Too many LBW's were never seen in a match before. This factor also put the Pakistani team in panic with the result that the batsmen low in the batting order lost courage to fight.

Until the Pakistan team gets rid of the psychological myth of their "inability to chase the target", they should have no hope of success.