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West Indies can be shockingly unpredictable

West Indies

Bengaluru, June 1: Two-time world champions West Indies were off to a rollicking start to their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign on Friday when they thrashed Pakistan by seven wickets after skittling Sarfaraz Ahmed's side out for just 105 runs.

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As a team that has come to this World Cup after passing the qualifying rounds, the West Indies' performance was indeed a commanding one. It was also after a long time that the Caribbeans' pace bowling produced what their fans always wanted to see: decimation of the opponent batsmen.

However, while the start was phenomenal, the Windies can't always be trusted to be consistent either, just like Pakistan. There have been enough instances in the past that saw the West Indies riding a roller-coaster ride in the World Cup.

A mega performance followed by a disappointment which only proves that the Caribbeans are more of a bunch of brilliant individuals than believers in solid team work.

In 1996, WI lost to Kenya and then beat Australia, SA

In the 1996 edition, for instance, Richie Richardson's side had started with a comprehensive win over Zimbabwe but then failed to pick any point in the next three games. They lost to India by five wickets, gave walkover to Sri Lanka in the next game and then, to the utter shock of their followers, lost to Kenya by 73 runs.

With only two points from four games, the Caribbeans were at par with the two lowest placed teams in the group - Zimbabwe and Kenya. They were up against a strong Australia in the final group game and hence in the danger of crashing out. But a determined effort from Courtney Walsh and Richardson saw the Caribbeans humbling the Kangaroos by four wickets to pick two crucial points and make the quarter-finals.

Not many had given the Windies much chance in the quarterfinals as well since they were up against South Africa, one of the top favourites to win that year and were running without a loss. But the diminutive giant called Brian Lara (111 off 94) stunned the Proteas as the West Indies won by 19 runs to make their fourth semifinal and the first after 1983.

The Windies met Australia in the semifinal and looked a more capable side after picking two good wins. They restricted the Aussies to 207 for eight in 50 overs and from 165 for two, witnessed an unbelievable slump to get all out for 202.

In the 2015 edition, too, the West Indies started off with a humiliating four-wicket loss to Ireland. They then shocked Pakistan by winning by a mammoth 150 runs. In the next match, the Caribbeans crushed Zimbabwe by 73 runs. And just when everybody started believing that Jason Holder's men were getting in shape, they went down to South Africa by a margin of 257 runs!

That's the West Indies. You never know what they are up to.

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Story first published: Saturday, June 1, 2019, 14:17 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 1, 2019
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