About the Match
The tri-series days are over in West Indies as they host a bilateral series against Pakistan. The first ODI will be played on 14th July 2013 at Providence. It will be first series for Pakistan after Champions Trophy
whereas the Caribbean team has already played a tri-series. West Indies dominated the 70s and 80s era of Cricket and the early 90s era belonged to Pakistan. Both the teams have lost that domination hand are looking to regain that and this series might give them the start they need. It has been a long time since the two teams were involved in a bilateral series and now that we have a contest here, it promises to be a close encounter.
Champions Trophy was the last time Pakistan played an ODI match and it was a poor outing for them. They were thrashed in all games: first by West Indies, then by Pakistan and finally by India. Pakistani batmen were extremely poor evident from the fact that they were bowled out for under 200 in all the three matches they played. However, despite their poor show, there were a few positives along with some negatives. They were superb with the ball as pacers Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan bowled with steam and Ajmal’s spin was tough to read in the middle overs. Shahid Afridi is back and will certainly bolster their batting and bowling. Pakistan is a strong unit capable of delivering unexpected results and West Indies would have to be wary of that.
As far as results are concerned, hosting that recently concluded ODI series didn’t prove fruitful for West Indies. They had a terrific star to the series which turned into a terrible ending when they lost two consecutive games at Port of Spain against India and Sri Lanka. West Indies would be aware of the home conditions and the weather fluctuations which played a vital role in recently concluded tri-series. Chris Gayle looked in good form and will be hoping for a strong support from other batsmen. Under Bravo’s captaincy, the team did reasonably well and seems to be gelling together. With strong pace battery and aggressive batting unit, this team can present lot of troubles to Pakistan.
It is the first bilateral ODI series after an ICC event and fatigue might play a key role, especially with West Indies as they played another series in between; having said that, that will bring West Indies the advantage of settling and knowing the condition better than their opponents. Can the visitors get acquainted to the conditions with a victory in the first match? Pakistan has sharp bowling lineup which break into any batting lineup and on the other hand, there is Chris Gayle who can demolish any bowling attack. West Indies have the advantage of familiarity with conditions and decent bowling attack combined with destructive batting lineup. I think West Indies will take the lead in the series with a win.
West Indies, 1.67 @ William Hill
Pakistan didn’t have much success in recent games and the major reason for that is their continuous batting failure. Their openers failed miserably which resulted in pressure on their middle order and thus poor batting display. They still do not have settled opening pair and in conditions alien to them, it would be hard for them to score quickly in the early overs. I think West Indies will have better score after first 15 Overs.
Team to Make Highest First 15 Overs Score:
West Indies, 1.80 @ William Hill