Pakistan are currently ranked 5th as they make their way into the Champions Trophy. Their first game is against West Indies, who are ranked 8th, this Friday at Kennington Oval. Pakistan have participated in all the previous 6 editions of Champions Trophy but they never managed to win the title even once.
They were the semi-finalists in the year 2000, 2004 and then in 2009 and are now hoping to change the history in this tournament which is being held for the last time. Contrarily West Indies were victorious in 2004 in England when they were led by Brain Lara but right now they are entering the tournament as last ranked side. Nevertheless they have much of firepower in their ranks and one can expect anything from them.
Pakistan vs West Indies Live Match
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Pakistan is the only team which has played ODIs in UK even before they entered the warm-up games. They had a 2 match series versus Ireland and Scotland of late. The team also has the squad that is finely balanced with experience and youth as they head towards the big title. The only warm-up game for Pakistan was possible and the team cruised the opponent and grabbed the victory which has really served as the confidence booster for the young side.
In the warm-up game against South Africa the young pacers Asad Ali and Junaid Khan started the proceedings with the ball and too 5 wickets among themselves. Then came Wahab Riaz who took 3 wickets and South Africa managed 83/7 prior to the 94 runs stand that led Protease to 202 runs.
Later on Pakistan displayed their skills with the bat as Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat scored half centuries and the team reached to the target before 5 overs to end the game. Pakistan appears to be a really settled side overall and something spectacular can be expected from them. The team appears very strong as compared to their first opponent, West Indies, and would love to get an easy victory.
West Indies have been away from the international cricket for quite some time now. Even though the players such as Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo participated in IPL and were the impact players but eight of their players in Champions Trophy Squad did not play much international cricket for some time. Still, the team appears to be a strong side as Chris Gayle returns and Sunil Narine, Darren Sammy and Kieron Pollard have been in goo knick as well and this is a real ray of hope for them.
West Indies had to face a defeat in the first of their Warm-up matches against Australia but there had been some encouraging performances from Johnson Charles and Darren Bravo who put 55 and 82 on the board respectively. Later the middle order collapsed and they just managed to score 256 which was an easy target for the Australians. The bowlers seemed to be quite threatening and they bowled well in patches and as no one was good throughout that’s why they didn’t manage to restrict Australian batsmen, particularly Shane Watson who played a brilliant knock of 135.
Sunil Narine managed some bounce and turn from the track and besides him Jason Holder and Darren Sammy really bowled some tidy lines. If the team performs to its potential then they can really turn things their way in the first game of the tournament. They have some real match winners in the form of Narine, Pollard and Gayle and all that is needed is for them to perform as a unit.