Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed conceded seamer Andre Russell’s opening spell laid the foundation for the West Indies’ seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in Friday’s World Cup fixture at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
Fast bowler Oshane Thomas was named Player of the Match for a telling four-wicket haul, but Russell started Pakistan’s capitulation to 105 all out with the wickets of opener Fakhar Zaman and middle-order batsman Haris Sohail.
‘Pressure was built when we lost our first wicket in the fourth over. Russell’s spell was the turning point. He took two wickets and that put us on the back foot immediately,’ said Ahmed.
‘The first 10 overs we lost too many wickets, and that’s why we could not come back into the game. We were aware of the West Indies fast bowlers. We had practised a lot against that kind of bowling.
‘It is just that in the first 10 overs, our shot selection was not good and we lost wickets. If we had managed to survive that phase then probably the situation could have been different.’
Pakistan proved particularly vulnerable against short deliveries, which opposition fast bowlers Thomas, Russell, Jason Holder and Sheldon Cottrell used to great effect.
‘We didn’t play the short ball well but we’ve seen in past series that we can score runs against that sort of bowling. If people want to bowl us bouncers, then we will have no problems with that,’ added tail-ender Wahab Riaz, who swatted to sixes off short balls late in Pakistan’s innings.
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