WORLD CUP: West Indies destroy Pakistan in opener

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 31: Jason Holder (R) of the West Indies celebrates with team mate Andre Russell after taking the wicket of Imad Wasim during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between the West Indies and Pakistan at Trent Bridge on May 31, 2019 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

In a performance that will surely put the other teams on notice, West Indies whipped Pakistan by seven wickets in a clinical display to kickstart their World Cup campaign in Nottingham on Friday.

Winning the toss and electing to bowl first, West Indies hardly did anything wrong in the field, removing half of Pakistan’s batting by the 17th over. Five overs later, the inning was complete, Pakistan a meagre 105 all out.

Oshane Thomas, on World Cup debut, bowled with menacing pace, taking 4-27, while skipper Jason Holder plucked out 3-42. Andre Russell and Sheldon Cottrell, who did the initial damage, picked up 2-4 and 1-18 respectively.

West Indies’ pace attack was too good for Pakistan

Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam scored 22 apiece.

Chris Gayle then blazed 50 off 34 balls (6x4s, 3x6s), and despite the fall of Shai Hope (11) and Darren Bravo (0) cheaply, West Indies still managed to win quite comfortably, with 218 balls to spare.

Nicholas Pooran put the finishing touches to the chase, racing to 34 not out off 19 balls (4x4s, 2x6s). Mohammad Amir bagged 3-26.

With the massive win, West Indies have surged to top of the points table, ahead of England on net run rate.

Chris Gayle made 50 off 34

Comments (courtesy ESPNCricinfo)

Oshane Thomas is Player of the Match for his 4-27. Picks up his award from Sir Viv Richards. “I slept very well last night,” he says. “Andre Russell led the way for us. Any time I get the ball, I’m happy to bowl and win games for West Indies.” — He’s clearly a man of few words.

Jason Holder: Yeah, got off to a good start, wickets with the new ball and then that batting performance. Andre Russell is an impact player, really good to see what he did today, well backed up by Oshane. We were always in the game. Credit to the boys, they really stuck to the task and finished it off. Andre gives his 100% every single time, it’s great having him in the team. It’s good to have a young quick like Oshane, we know he can be expensive at times but he’s a genuine wicket-taker, that’s the gamble we need to take in ODIs with big scores going around. Chris Gayle started off tremendously, seen teams mess up short chases, but he got us off to a really good start and imposed himself. We wanted to start with a win, very happy we’ve done that. Once we stay fit we can compete, have no expectations, don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. Want to play fearless cricket and make the people back home very proud.

Sarfraz Ahmed: If you loss toss and lose so many wickets early on, it’s tough to come back into the game. It was tricky for half an hour, but this is a good batting track, we didn’t bat well. I think we have to play positive cricket, didn’t do well today but hopefully we’ll bounce back. We know they have pace bowlers who will come hard at us, but we didn’t play the short ball well. Today is a bad day, confident of bouncing back. It was good to see Mohammad Amir bowling well. We always get a lot of support in England, a big thank you to them. Want them to carry on.

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