• West Indies blow Pakistan away

    The West Indies got their World Cup campaign back on track after crushing Pakistan by 150 runs in Christchurch on Saturday.

    Captain Jason Holder praised his side’s “wonderful performance” after they bounced back from a humiliating defeat to Ireland in their first match last week.

    The Windies again topped 300, Denesh Ramdin and Lendl Simmons both making fifties, but the big difference on Saturday was their bowling.

    West Indies reduced Pakistan to a stunning one for four – the worst-ever start to a one-day international innings – with fast bowler Jerome Taylor (3-15 in seven overs) leading the way.

    ‘It was a wonderful performance,’ said Holder at the presentation ceremony.

    ‘Jerome Taylor was excellent with the new ball and I supported him quite well,’ added the skipper, who at the age of 23 years and 108 days became the youngest captain to oversee a World Cup win, beating Shakib Al Hasan who was 23 years and 338 days when he led Bangladesh to victory over Ireland at Mirpur in 2011.

    West Indies’ Andre Russell was named man-of-the-match for an all-round contribution, which saw him follow a quickfire 42 not out with three for 33.

    ‘The game was set up for me to play my part,’ said Russell.

    ‘I told Lendl Simmons to stand wide of mid-on when I was batting because I didn’t want to hurt him with my straight drive.

    ‘The start from Jerome Taylor and Jason Holder meant the bowling platform was also set up for me. We put them on the back foot early and it was a good win today.’

    For Pakistan, the champions in 1992 when the World Cup was last staged in Australia and New Zealand, this was a second defeat in as many pool matches following their 76-run loss to title-holders and arch-rivals India.

    ‘It was a tough day, especially after winning the toss,’ said Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

    ‘There was a little bit in the pitch, but we couldn’t really exploit it.’

    As for Pakistan’s stunning slump, he added: ‘The guys (batsmen) up front have been struggling a bit, and that made it very difficult for us, especially on a pitch like that, with the ball seaming a bit.’

    Misbah insisted it was now vital that Pakistan maintained their self-belief.

    ‘Performances like that could really dent you, but you have to pick yourself up and think about your strategies.’ – AFP