West Indies marched into the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 Championship with the swagger of defending champions, by ruthlessly disposing of Pakistan by 84 runs yesterday. Opting to bat first in the must-win contest at the Shere Bangla Stadium, West Indies produced a late blitz to reach 166 for six, with Dwayne Bravo smashing a top score of 46 from 26 deliveries and captain Darren Sammy, cracking an unbeaten 42 from just 20 balls.
West Indies then wrecked Pakistan with potent mix of seam and spin, to bundle them out for 82 inside 18 overs. Captain Mohammed Hafeez top scored with 19. Leg-spinner Samuel Badree was magical with the new ball, claiming three-for-ten from his four overs while off-spinner Sunil Narine, picked up three for 16 from his quota. Left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie finished with two for nine and fellow seamer Andre Russell, two for 15.
The margin of victory was the biggest for West Indies in T20 Internationals, and set the tone for a compelling semi-final against Sri Lanka tomorrow—a rematch of the 2012 final. “We’re improving with every game. There is still room for improvement but we’re playing good cricket and quite happy to be in the semi-finals,” Sammy said afterward.
A semi-final spot looked unlikely when Pakistan used a telling bowling performance to restrict the Caribbean side to 84 for five at the end of the 15th over. However, Man-of-the-Match Bravo and Sammy launched a ferocious assault, as the Windies plundered 82 from the last five overs.
Their frenetic sixth wicket stand of 71 required just 34 deliveries, and proved to be the catalyst of the West Indies innings after another sluggish performance from the top order batsmen. Lendl Simmons chipped in with 31 from 29 balls while Marlon Samuels struggled with 20 from 18 balls, but big-hitting opener Chris Gayle (5) and his partner Dwayne Smith (8) were both dismissed cheaply.
Gayle was lured from his crease by off-spinner Mohammed Hafeez and stumped and Smith nicked probing left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir behind, as the Windies slumped to 22 for two in the fourth over. Simmons and Samuels spent 38 balls adding 39 for the third wicket, leaving the Windies in a bit of a muddle at the half-way point, at 61 for two.
Simmons, however, was run out at the start of the tenth over trying to steal a single and three balls later, Samuels’s toil ended when he dragged on to leg-spinner Shahid Afridi. Denesh Ramdin (5) lasted ten balls before holing out in the deep as West Indies stumbled to 81 for five at the end of the 14th.
Bravo then took matters into his own hands. He twice cleared the ropes with seamer Umar Gul in the 18th over that gushed 21 runs, and then combined with Sammy to take another 24 runs from the penultimate over sent down by the usually economical Saeed Ajmal. Bravo was run out off the first ball of the final over but Sammy kept up the assault on Sohail Tanvir to get 14 runs, as the Windies finished strongly.
Santokie then gave West Indies the perfect start, trapping Ahmed Shehzad lbw first ball with a full length delivery. Badree continued the demolition job in the next over when new batsman Kamran Akmal drove to Bravo at mid-off, to also depart without scoring. When Umar Akmal (1) and Shoaib Malik (2) were deceived by Badree in successive overs to give Ramdin the first two of his four superb stumpings, Pakistan were tottering at 13 for four in the sixth over.
There would be no recovery. Hafeez skied Russell to Gayle at cover for 19 off 32 balls and Sohaib Maqsood struck a four and a six in 18 off 22 balls before missing a lunge at Narine and being gobbled up by Ramdin, at 42 for six in the 12th over. With the required run rate rising to 15, Shahid Afridi was Pakistan’s last hope but all he could manage was a pair of sixes in a 12-ball 18 before becoming Ramdin’s fourth stumping victim, as Narine squirted one wide.
ICC World Twenty20 Championship STANDINGS
GROUP ONE P W L T NR Pts Run rate
* Sri Lanka 4 3 1 0 0 6 +2.23
* South Africa 4 3 1 0 0 6 +0.07
New Zealand 4 2 2 0 0 4 -0.68
England 4 1 3 0 0 2 -0.78
Netherlands 4 1 3 0 0 2 -0.87
GROUP TWO P W L T NR Pts Run rate
* India 4 4 0 0 0 8 +1.28
* West Indies 4 3 1 0 0 6 +1.97
Pakistan 4 2 4 0 0 4 -0.38
Australia 4 1 3 0 0 2 -0.86
Bangladesh 4 0 4 0 0 0 -2.07
* Denotes qualified for semi-finals