About the Match
Pakistan suffered defeat against India in its opening encounter and they will now go up against West Indies on 21st Feb at the Hagley Stadium, Christchurch. West Indies on the other hand had a shocking defeat against Ireland, which has left them down on morale but they will try to make amends here. Both the teams are looking for their first win and either of them which ends-up in facing defeat again will have a tough time surviving. Pakistan has the ability to absorb pressure and is ready to challenge the opposite team whereas West Indies seem to be struggling with player forms; the upcoming match will be very interesting as the group stage competition gets stiffer.
Pakistan lost their first match against India by a margin of 76 runs as the batsmen failed to chase down the target of 301 set by the opponents. They started well but lost their way due to poor shot selections; skipper Misbah-Ul-Haq blasted an unbeaten 76 off 84 balls but it went in vain as Pakistan lost wickets rapidly and never recovered. Opener Ahmed Shehzad scored 47 off 73 and Haris Sohail looked promising with his 36 off 48; they both had good starts but others like veteran batsmen Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi failed to score. On the bowling front, Sohail Khan was impressive with his 5-55 that helped them wrest back some momentum for the team; overall the team has talent to fight back against West Indies. As Pakistan heavily relies on its bowling department, players like Mohammad Irfan, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah will need to have a formidable attack. However, the batting display which has been extremely inconsistent especially with the top order failing to deliver, there will be immense pressure on the middle order. If Pakistan can improve on the batting front and bring out a well-rounded performance, they can possibly emerge as one of the dangerous sides in the World Cup.
They suffered a humiliating defeat against Ireland by 4 wickets as they were unable to defend 305; while batting, the team lost 3 wickets in a space of 14 balls and were tottering at 87/5 at one stage. However, the middle order batsmen did well and the 154-run partnership between Lendl Simmons, who scored 102 and Darren Sammy who posted 89, helped them build the target. Sammy registered his highest ODI score but missed out on a century by 11 runs while Simmons went onto score his 2nd ODI ton that helped the team keep the scoreboard ticking. On the bowling front, Jerome Taylor took 3 wickets while other bowlers failed to take regular wickets, which ultimately led to the defeat. However, the Windies have some big names like Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith & Marlon Samuels, who need to fire against Pakistan to save them any trouble. The team has talent and fire-power to overcome crucial situations but they need to show a positive attitude in facing the opposition.
The contest looks very tough as both teams face a must-win-situation here; both West Indies and Pakistan are capable of performing to the highest standards provided it’s their day. Although the match could go down to the wire, we feel that the Caribbean team has the strength to emerge victorious on Saturday.
West Indies, 2.30 @ Bet365