No one does failure quite as magnificently as Pakistan. For the first 15 overs of this ICC World Twenty20 contest, it had been in complete control over West Indies, whereupon things turned so dramatically it was the stuff of cricketing horror shows. Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy ran amok with the bat, and faced with a reasonable — but not insurmountable — target, Pakistan imploded. It was spectacular and sad, but not surprising.
In what was essentially a quarterfinal at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium here on Tuesday, West Indies crushed Pakistan by 84 runs to waltz into the last four. Bravo and Sammy played starring roles again, adding 71 runs (32b) for the sixth wicket in a late barrage of sixes to help their side to 166.
In reply, Pakistan was shredded to 82 all out, Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine returning combined figures of six for 26 from eight overs. The pursuit began most inauspiciously, Ahmed Shehzad, centurion two days ago, trapped leg before off the first ball by Krishmar Santokie. Kamran Akmal struck Badree into mid-off’s waiting arms, before Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik were stumped stepping out to the same bowler. It put Pakistan at a wretched 13 for four in the Powerplay overs, with Narine yet to bowl a ball.
The first boundary of the innings came in the seventh over, off the bat of Sohaib Maqsood. Shahid Afridi then biffed a couple of sixes in the company of Sohail Tanvir but the battle had long been lost. The final rites were administered in the 18th over as Gangnam Style rang out over the arena once again.
The West Indies innings had mostly rattled along at full speed in the previous game, evidently running on some high-octane fuel, but here it spluttered into life late.
Chris Gayle, standing a yard outside his crease, was stumped for five leaning forward to Mohammad Hafeez’s off-break. Dwayne Smith edged Sohail Tanvir behind to leave West Indies 22 for two. Lendl Simmons threw himself with gusto into the rebuilding job, cracking big sixes off Umar Gul and Zulfiqar Babar.
Marlon Samuels too chipped in as the pair set about steering the innings back on course.
The journey was rudely interrupted, though, by an avoidable run-out. Shahid Afridi had rapped Simmons on the pad and appealed unsuccessfully, when the batsmen took off for a run. Gul swooped in from short third-man, picked up the ball and hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end. Samuels followed his colleague three balls later, dragging Afridi onto the stumps.
When Denesh Ramdin fell, without much work having been done, the innings wore a rather dodgy look. West Indies was 84 for five in 15 overs, when Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo — swashbuckling heroes from Friday — were united at the crease.
Nothing could have prepared Pakistan for the storm that would make landfall on its doorstep. The first winds blew with a pair of boundaries each off Babar and Saeed Ajmal. In the 18th over, things hit hurricane status. Bravo smote Gul for two gigantic sixes, taking 21 off the over. Ajmal went for 24 next, Bravo and Sammy combining to send three soaring over the ropes. The captain, a gentle man off the pitch, but a long-limbed, bottom-handed threshing machine with bat in hand, directed his energies at Tanvir next. By the time he was done, West Indies had plundered 82 off the last five overs.
Ajmal, who had conceded a quiet five off his first two overs, had bled 36 off the last two. Bravo was run out for 46 (26b) and Sammy unbeaten on 42 (20b) as West Indies finished with 166.