WORLD CUP, GROUP D, JAMAICA
West Indies 241-9 beat Pakistan 187 by 54 runs
Dwayne Smith removes Inzamam-ul-Haq to take a vital wicket
All-rounder Dwayne Smith hit 32 off 15 balls and took three big wickets with his medium-paced seamers as West Indies won the World Cup opener by 54 runs.
The hosts lost the toss and were asked to bat first, reaching 241-9 in Jamaica with an aggressive 63 from local star Marlon Samuels the main contribution.
Pakistan started badly with their chase, and struggled to build momentum before Smith struck his killer blows.
Shoaib Malik (62) and Rao Iftikhar (3-44) did well in a losing cause.
Man-of-the-match Smith finished with 3-36, ending the crucial stand between Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq by dismissing both batsmen, and adding the wicket of Kamran Akmal for a golden duck.
Though Malik scored his runs quickly, he only had the tail for company and Pakistan eventually finished well adrift, all out for 187 with 16 balls remaining.
The decision by Pakistan to bowl first - expected to be replicated by many captains during the tournament - allowed Umar Gul and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan to test out the dry wicket on offer.
There were no devils in it, but it was on the slow side and offered some seam movement.
Once Chris Gayle had edged Naved behind for two, Ramnaresh Sarwan should have gone next ball, but Younis Khan spilt a chance to his right at second slip.
Sarwan went on to add 49, putting on 62 with the slow-scoring Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the second wicket.
But the outstandingly accurate seamer Iftikhar ousted both Guyanese batsmen, and Samuels and Brian Lara had to rebuild the innings.
The new batsmen were conscious, too, of the need to improve a sluggish scoring rate which had the scoreboard reading 80-3 after 27 overs.
Samuels delighted the enthusiastic crowd with some lusty hits
Samuels was the first to press the trigger, hitting Iftikhar for six and adding 14 off a Danish Kaneria over.
Kaneria's leg-spin remained the target, Lara playing a dreamy lofted off-drive for six and a textbook late cut for four in the same over.
The net result was a vital partnership of 91 in just over 17 overs and it was probably the critical period of the match.
Inzamam persisted with spinners and finally wickets came - Lara bottom-edging Mohammad Hafeez behind, before Samuels also perished.
The seamers returned for the last four overs after Akmal had added a neat stumping to his three catches.
And Smith took that as his cue to unleash some big shots, finally holing out off Gul.
The innings was ended with a rare six from Corey Collymore, but the total looked about 20 runs below par.
If that was the case, then Pakistan's early batting failings tilted the match back in West Indies' favour.
Iftikhar impressed with the ball, but finished on the losing side
Imran Nazir hit the second ball of the innings for six but was caught behind off Daren Powell from the next delivery.
Powell's fellow Jamaican Jerome Taylor then had the crowds cheering again as Younis Khan played an ungainly attempted pull and wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin collected a second catch.
When Mohammad Hafeez failed to clear mid-on with an attempted drive, it was clear Inzamam and Mohammad Yousuf had a lot to do.
They barely moved the scoreboard along for the first few overs they were together.
But a constant diet of seam eventually allowed them to get their eye in and Inzamam, in particular, finally began to hit a few boundaries.
Pakistan's serene progress was rudely interrupted in Smith's fifth over.
Unsettled by a quicker, shorter delivery, Yousuf was lulled into playing an injudicious cut shot next ball and could only edge behind.
The stand of 60 in 18 overs had been ended and the medium-pacers applied the squeeze ruthlessly.
Smith had Inzamam lbw playing across the line and Akmal brilliantly caught by Dwayne Bravo at point.
Suddenly, the exciting climax that had appeared to be on the cards turned into a gentle victory parade for the hosts.
Malik swung away but Bravo efficiently removed three tail-enders, Gul going for a duck as the Trinidadian all-rounder took a stylish catch off his own bowling.
The last wicket was Malik's, caught at long-off by Chanderpaul to kick-start the inevitable parties in downtown Kingston.