NOTTINGHAM, England, CMC – Veteran Chris Gayle smashed a 33-ball fifty as West Indies demolished Pakistan by seven wickets to make a winning start to their World Cup campaign here Friday.
Asked to chase a paltry 106 at Trent Bridge after the Windies pacers had ousted Pakistan for 105 off 21.4 overs, West Indies completed their uncomplicated run chase in the 14th over, with left-hander Nicholas swatting left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz over mid-wicket for six to end the contest.
Pooran ended unbeaten on 34 from just 19 balls but it was Gayle with exactly 50 off 34 balls who set the tone, ensuring there were no hiccups in pursuit of the small total.
He belted six fours and three sixes, posting 36 for the first wicket with Shai Hope (11) and a further 31 for the third wicket with Pooran.
Gayle lost Hope in the fifth over caught at mid-off attempting to loft seamer Mohammad Amir (3-26) over the top and then watched as the out-of-form Darren Bravo nicked one to Babar Azam at second slip in the seventh over without scoring.
Gayle eventually holed out to point in the 11th over, leaving Pooran to take West Indies home in a unbroken 31-run, fourth wicket stand with Shimron Hetmyer (seven not out).
West Indies fast bowlers had earlier laid the foundation for the win with rookie fast bowler Oshane Thomas claiming four for 27, captain Jason Holder picking up three for 42 and Andre Russell snaring two for four.
They bowled fast and short and Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam, both of whom made 22, were two of just four players to reach double figures.
Pakistan still looked like rescuing the innings at 62 for three in the 13th over especially with Babar still at the crease but once the right-hander nicked a leaden-footed drive at a wide ball from Thomas in the following over, the last seven wickets tumbled for 44 runs.