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Cricket World Cup: Pakistan thrash dismal West Indies
23 March 11 13:53 GMT
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By Jamie Lillywhite
Pakistan thrashed West Indies by 10 wickets in Mirpur to secure a World Cup semi-final against India or Australia.
Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal each took two wickets in an over to bowl out the Windies for 112.
Afridi claimed 4-30 to reach 21 wickets in the tournament as only Shivnarine Chanderpaul resisted with 44 not out.
Pakistan reached the modest target with 175 balls left, man-of-the-match Hafeez (61) with 10 fours and opening partner Kamran Akmal firing seven fours in 47.
The West Indies collapsed to a debilitating 18-run defeat in their group match against England after losing their final four wickets for three runs and worse followed here, as wickets five to eight went for the addition of just two.
After dismissing Bangladesh for 58, the Shere Bangla ground held good memories for the Windies - aside from the stoning their team bus received from irate home supporters after that match.
But Sulieman Benn, who took 4-18 on that occasion, was left out of the side and after Darren Sammy chose to bat his team proved they were just as susceptible to disintegration batting first as they are when chasing.
Hafeez was brought on for the second over to bowl his off-spinners at dangerman Chris Gayle but the West Indies opener was swiftly dismissed by the seam of Umar Gul.
Gayle had already come down the pitch to hit Gul down the ground for four but in attempting a similar stroke two balls later, drove straight to mid-off - it is now 34 innings since the cavalier made a one-day international century.
However, Hafeez soon made a dramatic impact with Devon Smith and Dwayne Bravo prodding hesitantly forward and dismissed lbw in the sixth over.
Chanderpaul, recalled to the side, had shared six ODI century partnerships with Ramnaresh Sarwan and despite looking in no sort of form, tried valiantly to repair the damage, briefly raising hope with a swipe over mid-wicket for six.
But Sarwan cut Afridi high to backward point and the charismatic Pakistan skipper reduced big-hitter Kieron Pollard to a tame bottom edge and removed wicketkeeper Devon Thomas lbw in successive deliveries in his next over.
The web of spin continued to tighten its grip and Ajmal's doosra proved too mysterious for Sammy and Devendra Bishoo to fathom, the secret delivery turning sharply and proving equally lethal to both right and left-hander.
Afridi returned to end the innings, bowling Ravi Rampaul round his legs and the malaise was emphasised by a scintillating start from Kamran and Hafeez.
The Windies needed something exceptional from paceman Kemar Roach but the Pakistan openers helped themselves to three boundaries apiece in the first five overs of their reply as the fifty stand was soon recorded from 47 balls.
Hafeez, deft as well as dynamic, reached his maiden World Cup half century with his ninth four and further demonstrated his exquisite timing with an immaculate drive to the cover boundary from Rampaul's next ball.
Pakistan's third century stand of the tournament came from 116 balls and they will monitor Thursday's second quarter-final with interest as they seek to reach the final for the first time since 1999.
On Pakistan's national day Afridi was delighted with the performance and said: "This is the best gift to give to my nation.
"There will now be more expectations to go on but I am just thinking game by game. The only thing we can do is give 110%.
"Every team from now will come harder and harder. We will just keep making plans for each team and try and stick to those."
Opposite number Sammy lamented: "Throughout the tournament we have lost clusters of wickets. But we have a number of guys under the age of 27 which augurs well and it's time to build this team and prepare for the future."
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