DHAKA, Bangladesh – Defending champions West Indies surged into the International Cricket Council’s Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals with an emphatic 84-run win over Pakistan in their crucial Super-10 match at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
The West Indies recovered from a top-order meltdown to post 166 for six after electing to take first strike, before three wickets each by spin twins Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine bundled out Pakistan for 82 in 17.5 overs.
The West Indies, who finished second behind unbeaten India in group two, will clash with group one champions Sri Lanka in the first semi-final in Dhaka on Thursday.
India, who won all their four league matches, meet South Africa at the same venue on Friday. The final will take place in Dhaka on Sunday.
It was the first time Pakistan, finalists in the inaugural T20 WC in 2007 and champions in 2009, failed to reach the knockout rounds in the five editions of the tournament.
The West Indies slumped to 81 for five before skipper Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo led a dramatic rescue act by adding 71 for the sixth wicket off just 32 balls.
Bravo smashed four sixes and two fours in a 26-ball 46, while Sammy remained unbeaten on 42 off 20 balls that contained five fours and two sixes.
The West Indies plundered 71 runs in the last four overs, taking 21 runs in the 18th bowled by seamer Umar Gul and 24 in the 19th by off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.
Bravo, who was named Man of the Match, said he would have preferred to share it with Sammy and Badree.
“We have the bowling to defend any total, but I really did not expect the match to be so easy,” he said. “Pakistan did have our top order in some bother, but then our batting runs deep and we showed that today. I think Sammy and Badree were equally deserving of the award. We have the momentum going into the semi-finals and I am confident we will do well there too.”
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez apologised to his team’s fans for not doing better in the key game.
“I must thank our fans for their support and apologise for letting them down,” he said. “This was obviously not our best performance, but we had the game in control at the start. All credit to the West Indies for taking the game away from us. Those four final overs cost us dearly and then we panicked at the start of our chase. It became a very difficult target to chase.”
Pakistan never recovered after Ahmed Shehzad, who scored a century in the previous match against Bangladesh, was leg before to Krishmar Santokie’s in-swinging yorker off the first ball of the innings.
Badree removed Kamran Akmal in the second over caught by Bravo off a lofted drive, Umar Akmal in the fourth stumped by Denesh Ramdin after missing a goggly and Shoaib Malik also stumped after missing a faster delivery in the sixth to leave Pakistan tottering at 13 for 4.
Hafeez (19) and Sohaib Maqsood (18) fell in successive overs to make it 42 for 6, before Narine removed Shahid Afridi and Sohail Tanvir in four balls to hasten the end. Afridi was stumped by Ramdin to a delivery that was pushed through outside off-side as he charged the bowler, while Tanvir’s slog sweep was well taken by Sammy in the deep.
Earlier, the West Indies lost both openers by the fourth over, with Chris Gayle stumped off Hafeez for five and Dwayne Smith caught behind off Tanvir for eight.
Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuels add 39 for the third wicket when both batsmen fell in the 11th over to reduce the West Indies to 67 for four. Simmons was run out while the struggling Samuels chopped Afridi onto his stumps just after hitting the same bowler overhead for a six.
It soon became 81 for five as Denesh Ramdin holed out in the deep off left-arm spinner Zulfiqur Babar, but Sammy and Bravo stepped in to play what turned out to be match-winning knocks.
Darren Sammy admitted afterwards that West Indies were a lot toned down for the game against Pakistan than they were against Australia.
“It’s a different setup today. There was no build up as opposed to the Australia game. It was about focus,” he said after the match.
He was also happy with the way West Indies recovered with the bat thanks to Bravo.
“Bravo especially was outstanding, We put our runs on the board. They bowled well but the batters did well to recover. We had the momentum going into the dressing room.”
Talking about his own form Sammy said: “I’ve done a lot with batting coach, especially Stuart Williams. I am enjoying my batting.”
The skipper also emphasised the confidence that he had in his bowling troops.
“We have the No.1 and No. 2 bowlers in the side, Santokie too is very good with his variations, Bravo had a side strain and he couldn’t bowl. We are quite happy to be in the semi-finals.”
D Smith c Kamran Akmal b Tanvir 8
C Gayle st Kamran Akmal b Hafeez 5
L Simmons run out (Gul) 31
M Samuels b Afridi 20
Dwayne Bravo run out (Kamran Akmal) 46
D Ramdin+ c Umar Akmal b Zulfiqar Babar 5
D Sammy* not out 42
A Russell not out 0
Total: 166/6 (20 Overs)
Extras: (lb 4, w 5) 9
Did not Bat: S Narine, S Badree, K Santokie.
Fall of Wickets 1-10 (Gayle, 2.1 ov), 2-22 (Smith, 3.5 ov), 3-61 (Simmons, 10.1 ov), 4-67 (Samuels, 10.4 ov), 5-81 (Ramdin, 13.5 ov), 6-152 (Bravo, 19.1 ov).
Pakistan Bowling: M Hafeez 2-0-15-1, S Tanvir 4-0-27-1, Z Babar 4-0-27-1, S Afridi 4-0-23-1, U Gul 2-0-29-0, S Ajmal 4-0-41-0.
Pakistan (Target; 167)
A Shehzad LBW Santokie 0
K Akmal+ c Bravo b Badree 0
Mohammad Hafeez* c Gayle b Russell 19
Umar Akmal st Ramdin b Badree 1
S Malik st Ramdin b Badree 2
S Maqsood st Ramdin b Narine 18
S Afridi st Ramdin b Narine 18
S Tanvir c Sammy b Narine 14
U Gul c Simmons b Santokie 4
S Ajmal b Russell 1
Z Babar not out 3
Total: 92 All Out (17.5 Overs)
Extras: (w 2) 2
Fall of Wickets: 1-0 (Ahmed Shehzad, 0.1 ov), 2-1 (Kamran Akmal, 1.3 ov), 3-9 (Umar Akmal, 3.6 ov), 4-13 (Shoaib Malik, 5.3 ov), 5-37 (Mohammad Hafeez, 10.3 ov), 6-42 (Sohaib Maqsood, 11.3 ov), 7-74 (Sohail Tanvir, 15.2 ov), 8-75 (Shahid Afridi, 15.5 ov), 9-78 (Saeed Ajmal, 16.5 ov), 10-82 (Umar Gul, 17.5 ov).
West Indies Bowling: K Santokie 2.5-0-9-2, S Badree 4-0-10-3, M Samuels 3-0-21-0, A Russell 3-0-15-2, S Narine 4-0-16-3, D Smith 1-0-11-0.