Pak-WI one-dayer under the mercy of rain gods

Published: Monday, December 4, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Rawalpindi:Torrential rain threatens the first game of the five-match one-day series between Pakistan and the West Indies.

Heavy rain continued to lash the city on Sunday and Monday, leaving the Rawalpindi ground waterlogged. The organisers have valiantly been working to keep the pitch fit for play in the day-night fixture.

Pakistan, who clinched the preceding three-match Test series 2-0, expect a tough fight from the tourists, who have produced better results in the shorter version of the game.

The West Indies have won 17 of their last 25 one-day matches. Captain Brian Lara hoped the Test series loss will be behind his team as they start their campaign towards next year's World Cup.

"We are quite capable of separating the two (one-days and Tests). Performances in the Tests still leave a lot to be desired but we are on the up-and-up in the one-day arena," said Lara, whose team will also play four one-day matches in India in mid-January.

They take on Pakistan in the opening match of the ninth World Cup in Jamaica on March 13 and Lara said he hoped the build-up would be good.

"We have played good cricket in a couple of one-day tournaments and we got into finals of two tournaments, so we are going to put the Test series behind us. There is no more Test cricket until May, so our main focus is on World Cup," he said.

The West Indies finished runners-up twice to Australia, first in the tri-series in Malaysia and then in the Champions Trophy in India last month.

The tourists will miss star batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo in the one-day series.

"Unfortunately we won't have a full squad, Sarwan has a hairline fracture in his in-step and he's one of our main players in the one-day game. He will be missed but we definitely have the reserves to do well," said Lara.

Sarwan was hit by Pakistani paceman Umar Gul's yorker in the West Indies' 199-run defeat in the third Test in Karachi last week. Bravo was allowed to return home for personal reasons.

Fast bowler Corey Collymore and opener Daren Ganga, who were earlier due to fly out after the Test series, have stayed back for the one-day matches.

Ian Bradshaw, Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Smith also joined the one-day squad last week.

Pakistan will be without their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq who will complete a four-match ban on Tuesday. Inzamam was banned for bringing the game into disrepute during the forfeited Test between Pakistan and England in August.

Younis Khan will lead Pakistan in Inzamam's absence.

Inzamam agreed the West Indies will be a different opposition in one-dayers.

"One-day cricket will be a different ball game because the West Indies have produced better results recently. This series will be a close one," said Inzamam.


Pakistan: Younis Khan (capt), Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Rao Iftikhar, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Danish Kaneria, Umar Gul, Abdul Rehman

West Indies: Brian Lara (capt), Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Daren Ganga, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Runako Morton, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Smith, Denesh Ramdin, Ian Bradshaw, Corey Collymore, Jerome Taylor, Daren Powell, Dave Mohammed

Umpires: Daryl Harper (Aus), Aleem Dar (Pak)

Television umpire: Riazuddin (Pak)

Match referee: Alan Hurst (Aus)


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