A fabulous knock by Jason Muhammad led the West Indies to an incredible victory against Pakistan in the first ODI. Chasing a difficult target of 309 runs, the young Caribbean side reached the target with one over to spare at the National Stadium in Guyana to lead the three-match series 1-0 with two more matches to go.
Chasing 309 runs for victory, West Indies crumbled in the beginning as the accurate bowling by Pakistan’s pacers along with the spinners restricted them to 107 in the first 25 Overs. Jason Muhammad then played the finest innings of his brief International Career to pace the West Indies to a historic four-wicket victory over Pakistan.
Jason Muhammad’s blistering unbeaten 91 off just 58 deliveries, along with perfect contribution and an explosive cameo at the end from Ashley Nurse, who scored 34 off 15 balls, raced the home side successfully chasing a target of 300 or more in an ODI for the first time ever following 31 previous failed attempts in 44-Year ODI history of West Indies.
In the first innings, Muhammad Hafeez led the side’s batting effort with a top score of 88 runs. Opening batsman Ahmad Shahzad scored 67 runs while Shoaib Malik scored 53 in 38 balls to accelerate Pakistan’s innings with an aggressive batting display. From West Indies, Ashley Nurse closed his bowling innings with his best ODI figure of 4-62.
West Indies’ chase started badly with the early loss of Chadwick Walton to Mohammad Amir but left-handers Evin Lewis (47) and Kieran Powell (61) kept their team in with an outside chance even if their comparatively pedestrian progress meant the required run-rate was climbing all the time.
Muhammad Hafeez and Shadab Khan, who made his ODI Debut after an outstanding T20 series, provided critical breakthroughs, but Pakistan paid a heavy price for relying too much on their faster bowlers to defend the target. Identifying the threats imposed by leg-spinner Shadab Kahn, Jason Muhammad targeted the pacers successfully and made it through to the finish line.
The second and third One Day Internationals between Pakistan and West Indies will be played on 09th and 11th April respectively at the National Stadium, Guayana.
Both West Indies are struggling for important Rankings Points to ensure their automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup in England being as one of the top eight teams by the cut-off date of 30th September 2017. Pakistan are currently at the eighth spot whereas West Indies has ninth position on the Ranking Table.