The West Indies continued to dance to the tune of Pakistan in the three-match Series of the DMC Toronto Cricket Festival. Having lost the first two games, the West Indies did no better in the final outing on Sunday. In fact Pakistan did not field its skipper Wasim Akram, paceman Waqar Younis and batsman Aamir Sohail. Despite the absence of this experienced trio, Pakistan, led by Moin Khan, performed exceptionally well and won the match by seven wickets. West Indies who packed its combination with eight recognised batsmen chose to bat first. Ironically enough, it made a mess against the young attack in which no bowler found wanting. The only discordant note was struck by the medium-pacers Abdul Razzaq and Newman Shabbir Ahmed.
They, in all, fired in 27 wides and two no balls. However they made amends in their respective second spell. Sherwin Campbell and Wavell Hinds laid a firm foundation for the West Indies with a 75-run joint effort for the second wicket. But from 86 to 92 the West Indies lost five wickets and one more at 113 and their eighth at 133. With Jimmy Adams trying his best to give some respectability to the innings, West Indies crossed the 150-mark and finished at 161 in 44.4 overs. Debutante Shabbir Ahmed, a 23-year-old medium pacer, covered himself with glory by taking three wickets (10-1-52-3).
He yorked the danger-man Ricardo Powell and Chris Gayle off successive balls to make the score 92 for six. Earlier he had clean bowled opener Adrain Griffith with a beauty. The two seasoned bowlers Saqlain Mushtaq (off-spinner) and Mushtaq Ahmed (leg-spinner) were a great source of inspiration for the side today. Saqlain was as foxy as ever while Mushtaq who was playing an international match after a long lay-off struck admirable rhythm right from the first over. He claimed the wickets of Brian Lara, Jimmy Adams and Mervyn Dillon for only 31 runs while Saqlain came up with an economical spell of 8-2-18-2.
Arshad Khan, the young off-spinner, was as tidy in his approach as ever and returned figures of 10-1-21-1. Precisely, Pakistan bowlers did magnificently well to provide their batsmen a wide scope to help their side make a clean sweep of this Series. Pakistan in fact was off to an ominous start as opener Wajahtullah Wasti was clean bowled off the first ball of the innings from Courtney Walsh. But then, Abdul Razzaq, who promoted to the opening slot and 17-year-old Hasan Raza, fought gamely against some hostile bowling by pacemen Walsh and Mervyn Dillon and added 50 runs for the second wicket.
That was followed by a long, match-winning association between man of the match Razzaq (57,111 balls, 7x4) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (55 not out, 93 balls, 8x4) who put on 86 runs. The remaining 26 runs needed for the victory were amassed at a relaxed pace by Haq and Yousuf Youhana (8 not out). West Indies who generally depends mainly on its four-man pace attack was missing Reon King, H.Bryan and Corey Collymore.