Nottingham, May 31: Oshane Thomas returned with a four-for while Chris Gayle notched up a sublime fifty as West Indies registered a thumping win over Pakistan in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 opener at Trent Bridge on Friday (May 31).
Having bundled Pakistan out for a paltry 105 in 21.4 overs, after sending them to bat first, West Indies overhauled the total in just 13.4 overs with seven wickets in hand.
Gayle top-scored for Windies with a 34-ball 50 and by the time he was dismissed by Mohammed Amir, his team were in cruise control. Nicolas Pooran (34* off 19) hit the winning six to inflict a big defeat on Pakistan. This was eleventh consecutive ODI defeat for the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side in a row.
The lone bright-spot for them was pacer Mohammad Amir's impressive bowling as the left-arm pacer struck all three wickets. Amir was playing his first World Cup game after he missed the 2011 and 2015 tournaments due to a spot-fixing ban and was also sidelined in the last four matches of the recent one-day international series against England due to chicken pox.
Thomas finished with 4-27 as Pakistan, sent in to bat, were sent packing in just 21.4 overs, with Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam scoring 22 each. It was Pakistan's second-lowest World Cup total, their worst being 74 all out against England in Adelaide in 1992.
Mohammad Hafeez with 16 and Wahab Riaz (18) were the only other batsmen who reached double figures. Jason Holder took three wickets and Andre Russell took two.
Russell took 2-4 in a lively three-over spell in the second game of the World Cup on Friday, but went down after pulling up in the closing stages of Pakistan's pitiful innings.
The all-rounder, a crucial figure in the Windies' squad, looked to have done damage when stooping for the ball in the deep and toppled over the boundary to receive treatment.
His absence was not felt, however, as with the very next delivery, Oshane Thomas cleaned up Wahab Riaz to end Pakistan's innings in only 21.4 overs. Thomas took 4-27, with captain Jason Holder claiming figures of 3-42.
In History Of Odi Cricket— CricBeat (@Cric_beat) May 31, 2019
Only 2 Times, Pak Got all out Before 22 Overs, Both against WI
43 Runs (19.5 Overs) vs WI (1993)
105 Runs (21.4 Overs) vs WI (2019)*#PAKvWI
About his man of the match performance in his debut WC game Thomas said, "Definitely, great start for me as a youngster, I'm honoured to have got this trophy from Sir Viv Richards. I had a good sleep yesterday. Andre Russell led the way with the ball, he was very aggressive and basically set it up for us with the aggressive bouncer, we executed our plans well. Anywhere I get to bowl I'm happy to run in and bowl, want to keep winning games for West Indies. I just want to keep working hard and doing my things."
Pakistan left out experienced batsman Shoaib Malik, playing his last World Cup, and also hard-hitting batsman Asif Ali to go with two frontline spinners and three fast bowlers. Seam bowler Kemar Roach was left out of the West Indies line-up.
Reflecting upon a humiliating defeat Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, said the toss was crucial under such conditions and the batting unit didn't live up to the reputation.
"If you lose the toss in these conditions, and lose wickets, it's hard to come back into the game. Have to play positive cricket here. Didn't do well as a batting unit today. We know they're going to come hard with their pace bowlers. We didn't play well against the short ball. Today was a bad day. Confident my team will bounce back. Good to see Amir bowling well. Always good support here in England," said Ahmed.
Windies' captain Holder was pleased with his team's clinical effort as they ticked all three boxes.
"We got off to a really good start. Got wickets with the new ball which is what we ask of the guys. Russell's an impact player. Really good to see the impact he had today, followed by Oshane. Sheldon started really well for us. Credit to the boys who stuck to the task.
"Russell can get the ball through, bowled some sharp balls today. He's one who gives 100% every time even though he might not be 100%. Good to have a young quick. We know Oshane can be expensive, but he's a genuine wicket-taker and that's a gamble we're willing to take. With such high totals these days, you need to get wickets. We see him as an impact player. Chris started us off tremendously. He eases the pressure in a chase like this. He imposed himself and kept them at bay. Wanted to start with a win," he added further.