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West Indies reaches semis with win vs Pakistan

April 1, 2014

MIRPUR, Bangladesh (AP) — West Indies sealed its place in the World Twenty20 semifinals on Tuesday after spinners Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine grabbed three wickets each for the defending champions in a resounding 84-run victory over Pakistan.

Badree helped knock off the top and middle order to grab 3-10 and then Narine turned the screws with 3-16 as Pakistan was bowled out for only 82 in 17.5 overs.

The spin pair ensured that the good work done by allrounder Dwayne Bravo (46) and captain Darren Sammy (42 not out) did not go to waste after their late burst had lifted West Indies to 166-6.

West Indies will now play Sri Lanka in the first semifinal on Thursday, while India and South Africa will meet in the other semifinal on Friday.

A match billed as a virtual quarterfinal, with India already finishing at the top of Group 2 with four wins, became woefully one-sided as Pakistan failed to make the semifinals at the World Twenty20 for the first time in five editions.

Badree, bowling with the new ball, took wickets as the batsmen attacked him in a desperate bid to get the scoreboard ticking. Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik were both stumped off Badree, withs wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin claiming two more off Narine.

Pakistan was 13-4 in the sixth over at the fall of Malik’s wicket and the West Indies only increased the pressure with some tight fielding.

“We did not bat well in the first six overs and that proved decisive,” Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez said. “They bowled well, but I thought our shot selection was not good. We’re sorry for letting Pakistan fans down.”

If the Pakistan batting collapsed under the pressure of a challenging score, its bowling too had failed in the face of attacking batting.

Bravo and Sammy, who had come up with similar cameos against Australia earlier in the competition, hoisted the ball with ease against both pace bowlers and spinners.

Bravo struck two fours and four sixes off 26 balls and Sammy hit five fours and two sixes off 20 to provide a psychological advantage after a difficult start to the match.

Bravo’s burst included two sixes and a four off Umar Gul, who went for 21 runs in the 18th over. Bravo and Sammy also took 24 off spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was clobbered for three sixes and a four in one over.

The turnaround came after an off-color display at the top of the order with big-hitting opener Chris Gayle being dismissed early.

Gayle (5) stretched out to off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez and was stumped easily by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal. Some more quick wickets saw the team slide to 81-5, only for Bravo and Sammy to engineer a dramatic recovery by blasting 71 in the last four overs.

“We never panicked because we knew big-hitters are our strong point,” Bravo said. “This is the best I’ve been batting for a long time and I’m really enjoying it at the moment.”

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