West Indies beat Pakistan in first ODI

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Georgetown, April 8 (IANS) Jason Mohammeds blazing 58-ball 91 and an explosive cameo from Ashley Nurse carried the West Indies to a historic four-wicket victory over Pakistan in the opening One-Day International at the National Stadium here.

Chasing Pakistan’s 308/5, the home side on Friday completed the task in 49 overs to mark the first time it has successfully chased 300 or more in an ODI.

Put in, Pakistan’s total was built on half-centuries by Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik, according to an International Cricket Council (ICC) report.

Shehzad (67) and Kamran Akmal (47) got the visiting side off to a good start with an 85-run stand for the opening wicket.

Hafeez then led the batting effort, his top score of 88 made off 92 balls and including six fours and three sixes.

Shoaib Malik rode his luck to smash 53 off 38 deliveries as Pakistan equalled its second-highest total against this opponent in the 50-over game.

Nurse, the off-spinning all-rounder, was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with his ODI-best 4/62.

In reply, the West Indies began shakily, with Mohammad Amir sending back Chadwick Walton in the fifth over, with the score on 23.

Left-handers Evin Lewis (47) and Kieran Powell (61) offered a period of stability, even as the required run-rate was climbing. It took the arrival of Jason at No.5 to up the ante.

With Hafeez and Shadab Khan, the leg-spinner making his ODI debut after an outstanding T20 series, proving difficult to get away, Jason targeted the pacers, most of his three sixes and 11 fours coming off them.

Nurse, coming in at 259/6 in the 45th over, gave him the company he needed, his unbeaten 34 off just 15 balls including five fours and a huge six off Shadab.

Both teams are battling for important ICC rankings points to confirm automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England as one of the top eight teams, by the cut-off date of September 30 this year. Pakistan is currently eighth with the West Indies in ninth spot.

The second ODI of the three-match series will be on Sunday at the same venue.

–IANS

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