Pakistan beat Windies in ODI series opener

Pakistan ease to a comfortable eight-wicket win over the West Indies in opening one-day international in St Lucia.

    West Indies bowler Kemar Roach shows his frustration as Pakistan dominate [AFP]

    Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq all hit half centuries as Pakistan eased to a comfortable eight-wicket win over West Indies in the opening one-day international at Beausejour Stadium on Saturday.

    Pakistan's spinners stifled the West Indies batting and limited the hosts to 221-6 off 50 overs before the trio of right-handers sparked an easy chase.

    The visitors motored home to 222-2 with 8.3 overs to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

    Flying start

    Opener Hafeez, whose offspin helped to restrict the home team, gave Pakistan a flying start with seven fours and a six in 54 off 45 balls.

    Misbah and Shafiq then forged a match-winning association, adding an unbroken 134 off 150 deliveries for the third wicket.

    Misbah, the Pakistan Test skipper, ended 73 not out off 90 balls while Shafiq contributed an unbeaten 61 off 76 deliveries.

    Misbah struck seven boundaries while Shafiq notched five fours and a six.

    Legspinner Devendra Bishoo was the only successful West Indies bowler, grabbing 2-48 from his 10 overs.

    Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi praised his team for a clinical effort.

    "The bowlers did a great job, especially the spinners,'' Afridi said.

    "And the way the openers Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez started, and after that the partnership between Asad and Misbah, that was good cricket.

    "I'm very confident with the way Hafeez is contributing in the team. I think he is a real team man and he's doing a great job with the ball and the bat.''

    West Indies, batting first on winning the toss, built their innings around a patient 67 off 109 balls from Darren Bravo and a late flourish from captain Darren Sammy, who contributed 29 not out off 17 balls.

    But it was the spin of Hafeez (1-36), Saeed Ajmal (1-24) and Afridi (0-40) that squeezed the home team's scoring.

    Bright start


    West Indies innings
    L Simmons c Salman b S Ajmal 24
    D Smith lbw b M Hafeez 17
    D Bravo run out 67
    M Samuels run out 2
    K Edwards c J Khan b W Riaz 28
    DJ Bravo c S Afridi b W Riaz 14
    D Sammy not out 29
    C Baugh not out 10
    Extras 30
    Total (for 6 wickets; 50 overs) 221
    Fall of wickets: 1-30 2-67 3-77 4-136 5-174 6-177

    Pakistan innings
    M Hafeez c Sammy b Bishoo 54
    A Shehzad st Baugh b Bishoo 22
    A Shafiq not out 61
    M-ul-Haq not out 73
    Extras 12
    Total (for 2 wickets; 41.3 overs) 222
    Fall of wickets: 1-68 2-88

    Hafeez struck first after a bright start from the Caribbean side's openers, trapping a tentative Devon Smith leg before wicket at 30-1.

    Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo were becalmed in a second-wicket stand of 37 in nearly 13 overs before Ajmal claimed Simmons for 24 to a thin outside edge to the wicketkeeper.

    Marlon Samuels fell by the run out route to leave the innings at the crossroads at 77-3 with nearly half of their overs gone.

    Bravo and Kirk Edwards rebuilt slowly in a boundary-free stand of 59 off 90 balls.

    Edwards eventually pulled to deep square leg after scoring 28 off 49 balls.

    Bravo, who did not have a boundary in reaching 50, lashed a six and a four soon after but he was the second run out victim when Sammy called him back for an impossible second.

    Sammy took the responsibility after that and boosted his side to a competitive total by dominating the final three overs in which 35 runs were scored.

    But Pakistan's reply was launched with a volley of boundaries from Shehzad and eventual man-of-the-match Hafeez.

    The pair added 68 off 76 balls before Bishoo offered some hope by removing both.

    Shehzad, who hit four fours in 22, was stumped by wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh while Hafeez chipped a catch to midwicket.

    But that was the last success for the hosts, as the 36-year-old Misbah and his 25-year-old partner, Shafiq, produced a victory course.

    The second match in the five-match series is at the same venue on Monday.



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