WI v PAK, 1st ODI Review: Mohammed, Nurse lead West Indies to record chase
Jason Mohammed played the innings of his life as West Indies went past Pakistan’s total of 308 with an over to spare.
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Jason Mohammed played the innings of his life as he along with Ashley Nurse chased down a stiff target to achieve an improbable win in the first ODI at Guyana. This was West Indies’ highest successful ODI chase in history.
Reduced to a second string XI due to big stars participating in the ongoing IPL, West Indies didn’t have their best personnel going into this game. In hindsight, they too wouldn’t have managed to achieve this win. That’s the exuberance of youth. They don’t have anything lose. They have everything to gain off such situations.
West Indies never looked like chasing down the target of 309 set by Pakistan. Kieran Powell and Shai Hope stitched together a partnership of 65 which gave the West Indies hope but their departure within 9 balls of each other left them in deep mire. West Indies were 159/4 after 34 and needed a further 150 runs off 16 overs. A defeat was looming large for the home side but Jason Mohammed had other ideas. Just as the Pakistani team got a wee bit complacent, Mohammed got into the act. Strike when the iron is hot as they say.
He started with a strike over cover off Wahab Riaz, who smartly got rid of Powell earlier with an off-cutter. Hasan Ali, who struggled with the new ball, was called back by Sarfaraz possibly to get some confidence bowling in relatively less pressure. But Mohammed was in no mood to give up and swatted Hasan for three consecutive boundaries, including a six over long-off, in the 40th over. 93 runs were required in the last 10 overs. Pakistan scored 92 runs in their last 10 but that was without the pressure of chasing down a big target.
In a desperate attempt to get a wicket, Sarfaraz brought Amir back into the attack. He responded almost immediately by dismissing Carter. Danger-man Mohammed was still out there and he was joined by the captain Jason Holder.
Mohammed then launched an attack on Mohammed Amir taking 17 runs in the 44th over. This is when the West Indies slowly started believing. Mohammed was taking them towards a famous win by this onslaught. Even rookie Shadab Khan’s magic couldn’t bother him at this stage. Holder’s departure got Ashley Nurse to the crease. Confidence is contagious. Mohammed’s display of genius rubbed off on Nurse, who had picked up career-best 4/62 earlier. Such was Mohammed’s striking that the asking rate didn’t go better than 10.50 in the last 10 overs and West Indies chased the target down with an over to spare and 4 wickets in hand.
Pakistan never saw that coming. They did everything right but just didn’t have any answers to Mohammed’s onslaught. Mohammed and Nurse added 50 runs for the 7th wicket out of which 34 came off Nurse’s bat in just 15 balls. He came out with the knock-out punch West Indies needed. Mohammed built the chase and took it until the end finishing with 91 not out which were made in just 58 balls. He won’t play many better innings than that in the rest of his career.
The duo was particularly lethal on Wahab Riaz and Mohammed Amir as they took 26 and 28 runs off their last 2 overs respectively. Even the mystery spin of Shadab Khan went the distance as 19 runs were taken off his final 2 overs. Sarfaraz looked out of ideas and couldn’t do much as Mohammed was striking them so cleanly.
Holder had earlier won the toss and put Pakistan in. Their innings were off to a good start as comeback men Ahmed Shehzad and Kamran Akmal added 85 runs for the first wicket before Akmal slapped one straight to covers off the bowling of Holder. Hafeez and Shehzad then took the innings forward. Hafeez looked very sluggish, to begin with. He failed to rotate the strike and at one stage was struggling at 43 off 66 balls. He got into a rhythm, thankfully for Pakistan, towards the end of the innings and was finally dismissed in the 46th over for a neat 92-ball 88.
The class and experience of Shoaib Malik helped Pakistan gather quick runs towards the end. He compiled his 39th half-century of his career – a breathtaking 53 that came off just 38 balls – as Pakistan blasted 40 runs off the last 4 overs.
West Indies will be proud of their performance which has given them a 1-0 lead in the 3-match ODI series. They will now look to take confidence out of this win and carry it forward in the 2nd ODI on Sunday at Guyana.
Pakistan – 308/5 (50) | Mohammad Hafeez 88 (92) | Ashley Nurse 4/62
West Indies – 309/6 | Jason Mohammed 91 (58) | Shadab Khan 2/52
Man of the match: Jason Mohammed