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12 Apr 2000 (Sean Beynon)

West Indies romp over Pakistan - Keep their unbeaten record

Some West Indian bowling reminiscent of the glory days gave the home side a comprehensive victory. Five wickets from Franklyn Rose followed some scintillating stuff from King and Ambrose.

Pakistan would have felt they had a chance, needing just 214 to win. The West Indies bowlers, buoyed by a massive crowd ripped through the upper and middle Pakistan order. The result means that, should Zimbabwe manage a win against Pakistan this weekend, they may well reach the final.

Jimmy Adams won the toss, electing that the West Indies should bat first. The Arnos Vale ground does not have a reputation for high scores, so the West Indies would have set their sights at around 230.

Although Campbell hit his first ball to the point fence, it soon became clear that runs would not be easy to come by. Wasim bowled brilliantly: not giving anything away. Waqar was a little more expensive, Wallace piled into him: smashing him through cover for four. The Pakistanis still bowled very tightly on the whole, and something needed to be done about the slow run rate. Campbell drove twice for four, whilst Wallace hit a six over square leg. This hike in the run-rate didn't come without chances, the third umpire decided Wallace had just made his ground after attempting a quick single.

After this mini-onslaught, Mushtaq Ahmed was bought into the attack, and struck almost immediately. The leg-spinner bowled Wallace with one, which kept devilishly low. Wallace couldn't believe the ball had hit the stumps, but had to go. The openers had put on 49, but Campbell was soon to follow his partner to the pavilion. Abdur Razzaq, who was embarking on what was to bean excellent if somewhat unlucky spell. Campbell played an airy shot away from his body to Inzamam at slip.

Jimmy Adams joined Wavell Hinds at the crease. Razzaq and Mushtaq were just too good for both batsmen. Both men struggled, Adams in particular suffered a torrid time against Razzaq. The young all-rounder beat the West Indies skipper multiple times outside the off stumps, with balls which shot across the left-hander.

Despite these problems, the West Indians stuck at their task. Neither player looked too confident, but whilst they had wickets inhand, there was a chance of a reasonable score. Adams decided that the best way to play Arshad - who has, like most of his Pakistan team mates, been butchered at the barber shop - and Mushtaq was to sweep. This period of play was frankly tedious,and the crowd began to get restless.

Waqar came back into the attack, and was the only bowler to be punished. A fielding blunder loosened the shackles slightly, as Waqar finished with figures of 0-50.

Mushie was in the wickets though. He got his 250th in ODI's, as he bowled Hinds round his legs. The left-hander attempted a sweep, and his painstaking 39 had come to an end.

Adams attempted another sweep shot to Arshad, his 17th. He missed a turner, which struck his jaw. It is conceivable that some of the crowd may have been ready to hit Adams about the face, luckily Arshad did it for them. He recovered, but shirked asweep next ball, preferring to aim toward mid-on. New man Chris Gayle played the shot of the game from Mushtaq, advancing down the track and hitting over mid-wicket for four. Mushtaq however finished with 2-34, a very fine display.

Adams reached his 50 with a turn to fine leg. It was a slow, sometimes frustrating knock, but valuable - a real captain's knock.The sweep caused Adams' downfall, hitting in the air to Youhana. At the other end, Chris Gayle, who had been suffering chestpains, fell to a leading edge off Arshad. Arshad finished a marvelous spell of 2-38.

With the two most exciting batsmen in the team - Jacobs and Powell - the crowd expected fireworks. Both new men were content to hit singles, until Jacobs launched Razzaq for four through his favoured mid-wicket. Powell joined the fun, as a Wasimno-ball was clipped for four like a tracer bullet. Powell attempted to go one better, but was caught at long-on by Younis Khan. Some lusty hits from Rose got West Indies to 213.

With Imran Nazir and Shahid Afridi opening the batting, the script should have read quick scoring. No man in the world could have scored quickly against King or Ambrose. Both were in irresistible form, Ambrose with unbelievable accuracy, King with pace and bounce. Ambrose was far too good for Imran, who edged an inswinger through to a jubilant Jacobs. Great fielding,including one brilliant stop by Powell kept the pressure on Pakistan. Younis Khan scored the first run of the innings, from the 29th ball. King started with three maidens.

Shahid got off the mark with a couple, in the air just over mid-wicket. Afridi missed a wild slog: if this was boxing, the refereewould stop the fight. King dropped short as was pulled for four by Younis. Shahid too managed to get hold of a pull, striking Ambrose through mid-wicket. Shahid proved he cannot stick pressure, driving King in the air to Wallace at mid-off. Pakistan were 12-2, with Inzamam the new batter.

Amby nearly got a second wicket: the edge from Younis didn't quite carry to first slip. Ambrose's spell ended after eight of the finest overs one could wish to see.

There was no respite for Pakistan. Rose was right on the button, despite being hit over mid off by Younis. Next ball, he attempted a pull, and was easily caught by King at mid-on. Pakistan desperately needed a stable knock from Youhana, to support poor Inzi if nothing else. He lasted only a couple of balls, before Hinds pulled off a fine diving catch at square leg to give Rose his second wicket. Pakistan was four down from nowhere.

Razzaq made just two before he chopped on: Rose the bowler again. Moin and Inzamam set about a recovery of sorts. Moin played the finest shot of the game, probably the series to date. He launched a pacy McLean over long-on for six. The ball bounced on the roof of the stand, before heading out of the ground. McLean's response was to beat the bat twice. This sort of cavalier innings was not good enough. The Pakistani skipper was dismissed in an unfortunate way, but his country needed more from him. Moin went for a pull, which he top edged. The ball cracked into his face, and flew up where it was caught by Jacobs. Moin walked off in obvious pain, in a slightly bewildered state. Pakistan were 88-6.

The former captain Wasim is the new bat, and Pakistan needs some heroics. He got off the mark fourth ball, but never looked comfortable. Soon Rose sent him back to the pavilion and with his wicket claimed his first five wicket haul in ODI's. He drove a slower ball in the air to cover. With Wasim's dismissal, so went Pakistan's last chance.

Inzi still hadn't given up, dispatching a Gayle long hop to the ropes. Both Gayle and Rose had a couple of leg before appeals turned down. It was becoming clearer and clearer that West Indies would keep their 100 per cent record. Waqar managed an edged boundary. Franklyn Rose finished with career best figures of 5-23.

The end came mercifully swiftly: Waqar was bowled by McLean, then Mushtaq was bowled through an enormous gate. Arshad Khan was bowled by Gayle, and Arnos Vale went beserk. West Indies had beaten the World Cup finalists by 96 runs, further strengthening their position in this tournament.

After the match, Michael Holding played MC at the presentations. Franklyn Rose was named Man of the Match for his bowling. He said: "Everything went OK: I kept bowling and kept getting wickets. Everything is going my way right now." Jimmy Adams thanked the spectators, then said: "The fellas are playing very well. We fought hard to get a fighting total and then defended it well. It was a really good professional job, but we're still working in every department."

Moin Khan was not too downcast. "The West Indians bowled great, which is why they won through. This tournament is still wide open," he said. After such a poor performance, Pakistan must be genuinely concerned coming up to the weekend. The way they played today, even Zimbabwe may trouble them. We shall see.