After going down in 10 straight completed ODIs in the build-up to the World Cup, Pakistan would have hoped for a turnaround. To their horror however, a rampant West Indies bowling unit turned up at Trent Bridge to skittle them out for a paltry 105. Here’s the report in the 2020 Wisden Almanack.
West Indies v Pakistan
Match 2, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
Trent Bridge, Nottingham
May 31, 2019
The talk beforehand, given Trent Bridge’s run-soaked reputation, was of the 500 barrier being breached for the first time in a one-day international. Instead, on a springy surface beneath overcast skies, Pakistan staggered past 100, thanks to their last pair. The match was over before the scheduled mid-innings break.
In a throwback to the West Indian fast bowlers’ heyday, a succession of batsmen flapped at short deliveries that targeted their throats: Pakistan’s fans began by protesting these were wides, but became less vocal as the barrage continued and the umpires kept their arms down. Fakhar Zaman had started aggressively – Holder’s first two overs cost 20 – but fell to the fifth ball from Russell, who had played only two ODIs since the previous World Cup. He made up for lost time, repeatedly digging the ball in, and later grumbled good-naturedly: “When my name comes on the big screen it says ‘medium-pacer’. I show them I can bowl 90.”
Russell sent down only three overs, but also nabbed Haris Sohail. Then Thomas kept Pakistan on the back foot: he removed Babar Azam – who was averaging 102 against West Indies – thanks to the best of Hope’s four catches, as six wickets cascaded for 21. Although Mohammad Amir made two quick strikes, Gayle ensured Pakistan’s 11th successive ODI defeat with a 34-ball 50.
The first of three sixes was his 38th in the World Cup, breaking AB de Villiers’ record. Pooran, after one luscious, Lara-like, square-driven four, ended proceedings at 1.54pm with a six. Many spectators missed a lot of the action because of problems with the ticketing system. The ICC refunded anyone whose passes were issued after the start, and enabled print-at-home tickets for future games.
First published in 2020 Wisden Almanack