Wed, 23 Mar 2011 19:51:45 GMT

Pakistan maul West Indies by 10-wickets, enter semis of WC

Mirpur: Captain Shahid Afridi scalped four wickets and Mohammad Hafeez excelled with an all-round display as Pakistan spanked a spineless West Indies by 10 wickets to storm in the semifinal of the cricket World Cup here today.

Pakistan maul West Indies by 10-wickets, enter semis of WC

Pakistan bundled out the Caribbeans for a paltry 112 in just 43.3 overs and then overhauled the target with 29.1 overs to spare in a hugely-lopsided quarterfinal clash at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium. Chasing just 113 to win, Mohammad Hafeez (61) and Kamran Akmal (47) toyed with the West Indies attack and stitched a 125-ball 113-run opening partnership to wrap up the match very easily and move into the semi-finals after a gap of 12 years.

The 1992 Champions Pakistan will now face the winner of the second quarterfinal between India and Australia at Ahmedabad in the semifinals. Everything went right for Pakistan today, which also happens to be their national day, as Afridi's men didn't put a foot wrong after West Indies skipper Darren Sammy won the toss and sent them to field.

Hafeez's two early wickets pushed West Indies on the backfoot right at the start of their innings and then Afridi picked four for 30 to dismiss two-time champions West Indies for their third lowest World Cup total. Hafeez also shone with the bat and provided a blistering start to Pakistan's runchase, clubbing a couple of fours off Kemar Roach in the very first over.

Hafeez picked up another boundary in the second over off Ravi Rampaul after his opening partner Kamran Akmal sent him across the rope in the second delivery. Kamran blasted Roach for another four in the next over when his uppish cut kissed Kieron Pollard's fingers at point before racing to the boundary. The wicketkeeper-batsman picked up another four off the pacer in his next over.

Spinner Devendra Bishoo and skipper Darren Sammy tried to put the break and bowled two maiden overs but Hafeez blasted a couple of fours off the former in his second over to take Pakistan across the 50-mark in eight overs. Hafeez didn't relent a bit and kept punishing the bowlers with utter disdain. He clipped one off the pad and then lifted one over midwicket, before sending Bishoo across the point boundary to race towards his half-century.

In the 17th over, Hafeez picked up another four off Rampaul to notch up the eighth half-century of his career off just 55 balls and then took Pakistan across the 100-mark in the 20th over. Kamran too matched his partner shot by shot and remained unbeaten on 47 with the help of seven fours.

Earlier, West Indies skipper Darren Sammy's decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired badly as they were reduced to 16 for three by the sixth over, with the dangerous Chris Gayle back in the pavilion. Spearhead Gul gave Pakistan a dream start when he had Gayle caught at mid-off by none other than the skipper himself.

If losing Gayle so early was not bad enough, West Indies were dealt another body blow as the left-hander's opening partner, Devon Smith, was trapped in front by Hafeez. Hafeez was at the thick of things again when he had Darren Bravo caught plumb in front.

Pakistan v West Indies: Over-by-over analysis