Smith inspires Windies to victory in World Cup opener
March 14, 2007
KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Dwayne Smith featured with both bat and ball to inspire West Indies to a 54-run victory over Pakistan in the opening match of Cricket World Cup 2007 at Sabina Park yesterday.
The exciting all-rounder smashed a quick-fire 32 off 15 balls that helped West Indies to 241 for nine off their 50 overs, and returned to grab three vital wickets in the middle of the Pakistan innings to restrict the 1992 champions to 187 in 47.2 overs, despite an aggressive 62 by Shoaib Malik.
The victory sparked huge celebrations among a near-capacity crowd, and gave Brian Lara’s side a boost in their quest to become to first host team to win the World Cup.
Sent in after Pakistan won the toss, West Indies owed their total mainly to Marlon Samuels’ impressive 69 and Ramnaresh Sarwan’s 49, but it was Smith’s excitement at the death that helped them to a total with which they could work.
The right-hander blasted three sixes and then came back with the ball to remove two of Pakistan’s key batsmen at a critical stage.
With fast bowlers Umur Gul and Rao Iftikhar bowling well at the start, the hosts were kept in check, despite a second-wicket stand of 56 between Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
They came together in the third over after Gul removed Chris Gayle by way of a catch to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, as the opener edged a defensive stroke.
Sarwan, dropped by Younis Khan at second slip to the first ball he faced, showed positive intent in striking eight fours before edging a drive to first slip off Iftikhar.
Samuels was in wonderful touch from the moment he went to the crease and played equally confident against both pace and spin.
He sent the crowd into frenzy when he magnificently lifted Iftikhar for a straight six, and there was more jubilation around the ground when he advanced down the pitch and lifted leg-spinner Danish Kaneria over long-on and into the new North Stand.
The hometown boy reached his half-century in grand style with another straight six against off-spinner Shoaib Malik.
Samuels however, failed to carry on, and ended up giving a catch to long-on off off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez after striking eight fours and three sixes off 68 balls.
By then, West Indies had also lost captain Brian Lara for a measured 37 off 58 balls, falling to an attempted sweep that resulted in an edged catch to the keeper off Hafeez.
It was Akmal’s third catch of the innings, following an excellent tumbling effort earlier that accounted for Sarwan when the West Indies vice-captain was one short of his 50.
Lara, Samuels, and Denesh Ramdim fell in quick succession, causing West Indies to lose momentum, and it required Smith to come in and provide a flurry at the end.
Smith’s departure in the 49th over led to another clatter of wickets, but the crowd had something to shout about when Corey Collymore swatted the final ball of the innings over long-on for a six.
Pakistan’s response started in sensational fashion with a six by Imran Nazir off Daren Powell to the second ball, and the drama continued next ball, when the batsman edged a drive to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.
West Indies sustained the pressure by removing Younis Khan, who edged an attempted pull off Jerome Taylor to the keeper, and the advantage was with the home team at 39 for three, following the dismissal of Mohammad Hafeez, who gave a catch to mid-on off Powell.
Pakistan were in need of a consolidation and they got it from their two most experienced batsman, captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf, the pair responsibly adding 60 for the fourth wicket.
As the partnership grew worrying for West Indies, Smith made three telling strikes that put West Indies on course for victory.
He first dislodged Yousuf for 37 as the prolific right-hander was caught at the wicket trying to cut.
Inzamam made 36 before falling lbw when he played across the line, and Smith tightened West Indies’ grip next ball, when Akmal was magnificently caught low down by a diving Dwayne Bravo at point.
The slide was halted in a seventh-wicket partnership of 28 between Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan before the latter missed a big swing against Bravo and was bowled.
There was another useful stand before Bravo took an excellent return match to claim his third wicket, and the match ended with Malik, who hit six fours and a six off 84 balls, caught at deep mid-on.
WEST INDIES innings
C. Gayle c wkpr K. Akmal b U. Gul 2
S. Chanderpaul c wkpr K. Akmal b I. Anjum 19
R. Sarwan c Y. Khan b I. Anjum 49
M. Samuels c S. Malik b M. Hafeez 63
B. Lara c wkpr K. Akmal b M. Hafeez 37
D. Bravo c Rana Naved-ul-Hasan b I. Anjum 16
D. Ramdin stp. K. Akmal b S. Malik 1
D.R. Smith c Inzamam-ul-Haq b U. Gul 32
J. Taylor run-out (Anjum) 2
D. Powell not out 1
C. Collymore not out 8
Extras: (lb-2, w-6, nb-3) 11
Total: (9 wkts, 50 overs) 241
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-64, 3-77, 4-168, 5-181, 6-183, 7-223, 8-228, 9-232.
Bowling: Umar Gul 9-1-38-2 (nb-1, w-3), Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 9-1-49-0 (nb-2), Iftikhar Anjum 10-3-44-3, Danish Kaneria 9-2-45-1 (w-3), Mohammad Hafeez 9-0-39-2, Shoaib Malik 4-0-24-0.
I. Nazir c wkpr Ramdin b Powell 6
M. Hafeez c Lara b Powell 11
Y. Khan c wkpr Ramdin b Taylor 9
M. Yousuf c wkpr Ramdin b D.R. Smith 37
Inzamam-ul-Haq lbw b D.R. Smith 36
S. Malik c Chanderpaul b Collymore 62
K. Akmal c Bravo b D.R. Smith 0
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan b Bravo 11
I. Anjum c Lara b Bravo 11
U. Gul c and b Bravo 0
D. Kaneria not out 0
Extras: (lb-2, w-2) 4
Total: (all out, 47.2 overs) 187
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-17, 3-39, 4-99, 5-116, 6-116, 7-144, 8-187, 9-187.
Bowling: Powell 10-1-42-2, Taylor 10-1-38-1, Collymore 8.2-3-27-1 (w-1), D.R. Smith 10-0-36-3, Bravo 9-0-42-3 (w-1).
Points: West Indies 2, Pakistan 0.