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West Indies v Pakistan
Sabina Park, 13 March 2007

Test Match Special podcast | Blog

West Indies 241-9 (50 overs) bt Pakistan 187 (47.2 overs) by 54 runs

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.

Pakistan won the toss, chose to field first, and restricted the hosts to 241-9 in Jamaica despite an aggressive 63 from local star Marlon Samuels.

Pakistan started badly with their chase, and struggled to build momentum before Smith struck his killer blows.

Their top performers were Shoaib Malik (62) and Rao Iftikhar (3-44).


By Ben Dirs


Wicket falls
48th over: WICKET - c Chanderpaul b Collymore 62
It's all over and the Windies have a famous win. Malik goes for the big one and finds Chanderpaul at long-off. Fine start by the hosts, who many thought were 20-30 runs short, and a dreadful showing by Pakistan. Don't take anything away from the Windies bowling attack, however - they were disciplined, nagging and aggressive, and never allowed the vaunted Pakistan batsmen to settle. I've got Australia v Scotland tomorrow, hope to bump into you there. Bye for now.

Our for a duck
47th over: WICKET - Gul c&b Bravo 0, Pak 187-9
Gul is gone first ball, knocking a full-bunger back to Bravo and the bowler, left hand popping out, pulling off a fine catch. Bravo likes that, and goes on a football-style trot round Sabina Park. Windies in raptures, Pakistan have been extremely lacklustre.

Wicket falls
47th over: WICKET - Iftikhar c Lara b Bravo 11, Pak 187-8
Iftikhar spots Bravo's slower ball and steers him down to third man for a couple. Bravo then pulls off another fine stop to deny Iftikhar certain runs before Iftikhar plops one straight into Lara's hands at extra-cover. Lara, who knows the game is up, goes berko.

46th over: Pak 184-7
Collymore strays onto Malik's legs and is turned away for four. Collymore serves one up right in the blockhole next ball, but Malik manages to squeeze it out for a single. Nine from the over.

Sir Viv Richards
"I'm not into all that stuff about peaking early, winning creates momentum and you want to win as early as possible."
Sir Viv Richards on TMS

45th over: Pak 175-7
Iftikhar gets one for a push to mid-on off Bravo. Malik looks to go over the top but only gets one for it. Iftikhar skews one away to point and just beats the throw for a couple. All over bar the shouting now, and there will be a lot of shouting in Kingston tonight.

That's 50
44th over: Pak 170-7
Iftikhar gets some more rib music from Taylor, who's got a spiteful side to him. Iftikhar latches onto a short one and gets one for it before Malik plays a peculiar top-spin forehand for one for his 50. Malik carves Taylor over the top for one, but Taylor finishes with 1-38 from his full quota of 10 overs. Good figures for the local boy and the Windies pace attack has really turned up to the party today.

Sir Viv Richards: "I will put my mortgage on it that West Indies will win this..."
Jonathan Agnew: "You haven't got a mortgage, you own half of Antigua..."

43rd over: Pak 165-7
Malik climbs into Bravo, crashing him into the wide long-on boundary. Bravo beats Malik with a slower ball before Gayle pulls off a fine one-handed save at wide long-on, but the replay shows his foot just clipped the rope. Another four and Malik looks dangerous here - until he's gone, the Jamaican fans won't rest. Shocking delivery down leg side by Bravo before Iftikhar gets a slow full-bunger which he scoops away for one to backward square-leg. Twelve from that over, and Malik's still swinging while the fat lady's singing.

42nd over: Pak 153-7
Pakistan in dire straits here, Iftikhar dropping the ball in front of him, stopping, starting, stopping and starting again, like an old Hillman Avenger on a winter's day, and Malik just making his ground. Malik launches a six over the deep mid-wicket boundary and Pakistan need 89 to win from 49 balls. Iftikhar gets some nasty chin music from Taylor - he didn't fancy that at all, but who would?

Wicket falls
41st over: WICKET - Naved b Bravo 11, Pak 144-7
Naved is out, dragging Bravo onto his stumps with an ugly hoick. I'm surprised Naved didn't put his back out with that shot. The end is nigh for Pakistan, Iftikhar the next man in.

40th over: Pak 143-6
Malik opens his shoulders and hoicks Taylor over deep mid-wicket for six. Brutal, but I can't help thinking it's all a bit late, like the bloke down the pub who gets all lary when a fight's already been broken up.

39th over: Pak 137-6
Naved and Malik still just milking the seamers and Smith finishes with 3-36 from his 10 overs. Fine display from the Bajan, and he'll be in the frame for the man-of-the-match award.

38th over: Pak 131-6
Malik may as well give it some humpty here. Taylor almost cleans Naved up with a slower ball. This looks like Windies all the way - Pakistan need more than two an over.

37th over: Pak 129-6
My cricket editor, God bless him, has just got back to his gaff up north somewhere and sent me an email pointing out my comment in the 28th over: 'The Windies, in my humble opinion, are in need of some spin now, the seamers ceased posing problems some time ago.' Very prophetic Dirs, very prophetic...Two from the over, one single apiece from Naved and Malik.

36th over: Pak 127-6
Malik picks up one to mid-on before Naved is almost run-out by a sharp piece of fielding from Bravo. Malik getting frustrated now, swishing his bat after missing out on a short one from Taylor.

"When do West Indies introduce spin? It's a bit like making risotto - for how long do you dare fry the rice in the butter before adding the stock?"
Oliver Brett, BBC Sport

35th over: Pak 124-6
All down to Malik now, but he needs an innings of all-time great proportions if Pakistan are to win this. Malik plays uppishly at Smith but gets away with it and there are five singles from the over.

34th over: Pak 119-6
Naved swats at a Bravo delivery and is beaten. Naved smears one into the covers for one. Good slower ball from Bravo, but Naved defends it well. Pakistan need a miracle here, and, unlike Errol Brown, I don't believe in miracles.

Our for a duck
33rd over: WICKET - Akmal c Bravo b Smith 0, Pak 116-6
Akmal gone first ball, driving Smith straight to a diving Bravo at backward point. Bravo almost puts his shoulder out celebrating that catch and Jamaica starts cranking up the party. Naved survives the over and denies Smith his hat-trick.

Wicket falls
33rd over: WICKET - Inzamam lbw b Smith 36, Pak 116-5
Malik shows some urgency, lofting Smith over extra-cover for four, but Pakistan's world crumbles soon after, Smith trapping him in front. Inzy isn't happy, but umpire Taufel is in no doubt. Inzy takes an age leaving the field, dragging his feet like a schoolboy who's been thrown out of class for something he hasn't done. Players take drinks, West Indies in the driving seat.

32nd over: Pak 111-4
Just a couple of singles from that over from Bravo and Inzy is still waiting...for what I'm not quite sure...

"Inzy and Gayle are different sorts of laid-back. Inzy is just comatose, while Gayle is super-cool."
Mike Selvey on TMS

31st over: Pak 109-4
Three singles from Smith's over and Pakistan's required run-rate is now 7.05. Inzamam is still teasing us - when exactly is he going to cut loose? One suspects it has to be now if his side have a hope of winning.

30th over: Pak 105-4
Hundred for Pakistan, Inzamam bringing it up with a flick to leg. Malik gets off the mark with a smart cut for four off Bravo.

"Don't know about 'someone shuffling down their hallway to the toilet in the middle of the night', Inzy looks like a man who's got an en suite very close by, probably with one of those winch contraptions we're saving up to buy mum for Christmas..."
Jamie Liddell in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
29th over: WICKET - Yousuf c Ramdin b Smith 37, Pak 99-4
Yousuf steps outside off-stump and is almost castled by Smith before he misses with a wild and windy swipe. Yousuf is out next ball, however, cutting at a ball too close to his body and feathering it to Ramdin behind the stumps. Seemed to lose concentration there Yousuf - one minute he looked very watchful, the next he's playing wild shots here, there and everywhere.

28th over: Pak 97-3
The Windies, in my humble opinion, are in need of some spin now, the seamers ceased posing problems some time ago. Samuels makes a fine stop out on the point boundary after a brutish carve from Inzamam. It's Mexican wave time - the fun police will be doing their nuts. Five from the over and it's all slightly tedious at the moment.

27th over: Pak 92-3
Yousuf steers to third man for one and this is looking ominous all of a sudden for the Windies. Both batsman look like they're batting with doors at the moment and are milking Smith with some ease. Six from the over and the Pakistan balcony looks pretty relaxed.

26th over: Pak 86-3
Bravo is the new bowler. Easy single for Inzamam, just pushing the ball into the gap at mid-wicket and pottering a single, like someone shuffling down their hallway to the toilet in the middle of the night.

25th over: Pak 82-3
Fine, athletic save at point by Bravo prevents an Inzamam single. Yousuf skips outside off and flicks Smith to mid-wicket for a single. Just two from Smith's over and he's doing a manful job here for the Windies.

"Inzi and Yousuf have started doing what they do best, ticking the board along and unassumingly collecting the required runs. WI better watch out."
Jawad Zakariya, Toronto, in the TMS inbox 24th over: Pak 80-3
Inzamam plays a brutal shot, stepping down the track and tugging Collymore over mid-wicket for four. Inzy misses out with a cut shot before top-edging a pull down to backward square-leg for one. It looks like Inzy has decided to take on the glamour role, with Yousuf happy to nudge and nurdle.

23rd over: Pak 74-3
Yousuf plays a sweet late cut off Smith and grabs one for it. Inzy shovels Smith to mid-on and Powel, with 10 overs under his belt already, fields well. Three from that over and it's a waiting game here - just when will Yousuf and Inzamam stick their foot down and try to pull away from the hosts?

22nd over: Pak 71-3
Yousuf glides Collymore down to third man for one before Inzy flashes at one and gets a couple for it. Five from the over.

"At some stage in this innings, Pakistan will have to take risks, and if the risks don't come off, Pakistan will be in trouble."
Rameez Raja on TMS

21st over: Pak 66-3
Smith is wheeled into the attack, looking to add to his tally of 39 wickets in 60 one-day internationals. He serves up a long-hop first up and Inzy's eyes light up, as if Smith's sending down Mars Bars. Inzy misses out, however, and Smith concedes just two from the over.

20th over: Pak 64-3
Collymore doing a good job for West Indies, that's his third maiden over, and it brings appreciative purrs from the Sabina Park faithful.

"There was a story the other day that the police were being searched by ICC security guards outside the grounds..."
Arlo White on TMS

19th over: Pak 64-3
Powel into his final over, and that's some feat in this heat. He has bowled well for the most part, but Inzy has gone after him a bit in his last couple. The Pakistan skipper leans back and laces Powel through point for four. Inzy scampers a quick single, if scampers is the right word. It looked like he was pulling a Morris Minor. Inzamam chops Powel's final ball into the ground and it's job well done by Powel, who finishes with 2-42 from his full quota of 10.

18th over: Pak 56-3
I'm getting a little bit jaded now. Not to worry, only another six weeks to go. Peachy drive from Yousuf for four, perfect balance. Yousuf 17, Inzy 11.

17th over: Pak 52-3
Inzy tries to break the shackles, but Chanderpaul makes a fine diving stop at mid-off. Powel drops short, however, and Inzy swivels it away for four. The burly Pakistan skipper follows up with an exquisite cover-drive for another boundary as Pakistan pass 50. Eight from the over, and Pakistan needed that little lift.

16th over: Pak 44-3
Yousuf has a woosh at a ball from Collymore and misses. Another maiden from Collymore, his second in a row, and it's been a fine first hour for the hosts. One of these Pakistan batsmen needs to stick around for a couple of hours if they are going to win it. As it is, Yousuf has 12 from 33, Inzy has just 3 from 19.

Sir Viv Richards
"Yousuf and Inzamam look so calm, and this is what scares me..."
Sir Viv Richards on TMS

15th over: Pak 44-3
Inzamam is anchored here, and it's another fine over from Powel, just one from it. The brass band strikes up and the dancers throw some shapes in the party stand. Not much chat from the Pakistan fans at the moment.

14th over: Pak 43-3
Inzy misses out on a short one from Collymore and looks very downcast as a result. Maiden over and the pressure continues to rise for Pakistan.

Jonathan Agnew
"I'm amused by the anti-streaking fence that runs around the ground. Funnily enough, it stops in front of where all the old boys sit playing dominoes...Inzamam peers over towards the party stand, maybe he wishes he was in there..."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

13th over: Pak 43-3
Yousuf feels at a ball from Taylor and is beaten, to 'oohs and aahs' from the crowd. More good stuff from Taylor, just one from it, and West Indies have for their dander up at the moment.

"In the same vein as the Opal Fruits/Starburst changeover trauma, didn't individual Treets become markedly smaller when they morphed into Minstrels?"
Nick Shearer in the TMS inbox

12th over: Pak 42-3
Collymore is on Yousuf whips him away for a couple. Inzamam is struck on the front pad, but the batsman got a big, Inzy size stride in. Two from the over.

"Inzamam looks like he's on his siesta and looking for a hammock..."
Sir Viv Richards on TMS

Wicket falls
11th over: WICKET - Hafeez c Lara b Powel 11, Pak 39-3
Taylor fields well at wide fine-leg as Hafeez picks up one. Yousif picks up a single before Hafeez plays a dreadful on-drive, sticking it straight down Lara's throat at mid-on. Inzy is next in, and even Sir Viv thinks he's cool. So, if Sir Viv thinks he's cool, surely that makes him the coolest bloke in the world? Yousuf gets a bit of chin music from Powel, the ball spitting off a length and Yousuf doing well to jerk his bat out of the way.

"Considering the strength and experience and talent of the middle order, on paper Pakistan should win this. But we all know what can happen if the batsmen play shoddy cricket, the wickets will go down like dominoes."
Noreen Shihab in the TMS inbox

10th over: Pak
Yousuf unfurls a drive and Lara looks like he's going to snap in half as he stoops to field at mid-off. Two for it. Yousuf is rapped on the pad and the crowd get excited, but not much interest from the West Indies players. Good over from Taylor, who puts Tony Cozier in mind of Winston Benjamin in his run-up.

9th over: Pak 35-2
A couple of singles for Yousuf and Hafeez before Smith saves four with a sharp stop at backward point. Just two from the over and this is bubbling under nicely.

"I applaud your usage of the English brand name Opal Fruits. Britain was permanently scarred when they changed it to comply with the Yankie Starburst. Don't get me started on Marathon bars..."
Seb in the TMS inbox

8th over: Pak 32-2
Yousuf steers Taylor to third man for one. He looks to have trimmed his beard back slightly. That could cost him the Beard Liberation Front's beard of the tournament award. Mind you, Flintoff won their beard of the year award once, and he hasn't even got a proper beard. He just looks like he's split up with his girlfriend and been kipping on a mate's sofa for a few nights. One from the over.

7th over: Pak 31-2
Glorious shot from Hafeez, clipping Powel through mid-on for four.

"West Indies really do need to take wickets here, it's not going to be a restricting game."
Mike Selvey on TMS

6th over: Pak 23-2
A colleague of mine has just expressed his love for Pacers, the rather, in my opinion, noisome mint version of Opal Fruits. I was a big fan of Mintolas myself. Yousuf flicks Taylor away for a couple.

5th over: Pak 21-2
The noise level is cranked up as the prolific Yousuf strolls to the middle. This boy can bat a bit, as nearly 8,000 one-day international runs suggests. Hafeez times Powell to the long-on boundary, and there are four from the over.

Wicket falls
4th over: WICKET - Younis c Ramdin b Taylor 9, Pak 17-2
Dreamy stroke from Younis off Taylor, bending his front leg and pushing the ball to the long-off boundary. Nice shot from Hafeez, leaning back and gliding the ball to third man for one. But Taylor then dismisses Younis, the batsman playing an ill-judged pull shot and feathering a catch to Ramdin. Pakistan in some disarray here after four overs.

3rd over: Pak 10-1
Powel beats the probing Younis with a ball that pitches and jags away from him. Good contest this. Younis then nearly plays on, smothering and the ball nearly spinning back onto his stumps. Another maiden and West Indies have hit back well after some early clatter from Nazir.

2nd over: Pak 10-1 Taylor sharing the new ball and he's got a Holdingesque run-up, almost pushing himself off from the advertising boards. A maiden to start by Taylor, but there was a lot of widish stuff thrown in.

"Pakistan haven't been able to find a settled opening partnership, which is odd when you consider the quality of the middle order."
Mike Selvey on TMS

Wicket falls
1st over: WICKET - Nazir c Ramdin b Powel 6, Pak 6-1
Nazir and Hafeez are in the middle and they will be charged with getting Pakistan off to a solid start chasing West Indies' 241-9. Nazir plays a remarkable shot second ball, latching on to a wide one from Powel and cutting him over the wide third man boundary for six. But Powell strikes back immediately, sticking one on a length and getting Nazir to nibble one to Ramdin behind the sticks. Younis is next in, and he gets off the mark with a cute glide to the third man boundary. Powel unbowed again, beating the lunging Younis' inside edge. Extraordinary first over, 10 runs and a wicket from it.

"You were flirting again in the lunch interval, weren't you never miss an opportunity..."
Mike Selvey on TMS

1840 GMT: The umpires, and then the players, are due back out in the middle any time now.


"Just been to the loo and to say it's been hastily completed is an understatement! So many paint splashmarks on the floors and cubicle walls and no soap or towel dispensers installed."
Paresh Soni, BBC Sport in Jamaica

"Maybe Lara's batting can knock the Pakistani bowlers off their perch and bring some life and sole back into the Windies attack. Maybe then we won't have to trawl through another load of sea jokes."
Michael, Leeds, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
50th over: WICKET - Bravo c Naved b Iftikhar 16, WI 232-9
Bravo gets four with a well-timed cover-drive before he slices the impressive Iftikhar to Naved at wide third man. Number 11 Collymore gets two before swinging Iftikhar away for a maximum off the last ball of the innings. That's got the Sabina Park faithful jumping. West Indies will be reasonably happy with that batting display. Maybe they're 20 short, but we won't know until Pakistan have their dig.

Wicket falls
50th over: WICKET - run out (Iftikhar) Taylor 2, WI 228-8
Taylor out, dropping the ball down to bowler Iftikhar, attempting the single and falling to Iftikhar's direct hit.

"Slugs have no internal skeleton and can flatten themselves surprisingly thin and hence can, er, ooze under all but the most close-fitting doors."
Stephen Gould in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
49th over: WICKET - Smith c Inzamam b Gul 32, WI 223-7
Smith gone, looking to put manners on Gul and skewing the ball to Inzamam at extra-cover. Easy as shelling peas for the big man. Taylor is the next man in. Clever from Bravo, scuttling down the track after a Gul wide - he will face the first ball of the final over.

"Someone told me that Dwayne Bravo was actually christened Dwayne Smith but that he changed his name after falling in love with the classic crime drama Juliet Bravo. Does anyone know if this is true?"
Barnaby in the TMS inbox

48th over: WI 222-6
Cute shot from Bravo, feathering Naved to the fine-leg boundary for four. Bravo digs out a Naved yorker before Naved strays on to Smith's pads and is whipped away for another boundary. Inzamam not happy. He looks like a man who has just padded into the kitchen in his bare feet to get late night drink and trodden on a slug. Where do slugs come from? I must have checked for holes a thousand times. He looks even more dismayed when Smith heaves Naved over the mid-wicket boundary for a maximum.

47th over: WI 206-6
Smith and Bravo share a single apiece. The springy Gul bounces towards the wicket and Smith latches onto a full-bunger, the ball racing to the extra-cover boundary as the West Indies' 200 comes up. Gul is then upper-cut for four over the slip cordon. Smith has 21 from 11 balls. Just what the doctor ordered for the hosts.

46th over: WI 195-6
Smith goes after Hafeez and launches him over the mid-wicket boundary for six. Brutal. More sluggish fielding by Pakistan, Malik throwing to Akmal but the gloveman unable to remove the bails before Smith makes his ground.

Wicket falls
45th over: WICKET - Ramdin st Akmal b Kaneria 1, WI 183-6
Kaneria back on and Bravo is almost run out, the batsman slashing to point, but the fielder, as so often this afternoon, sluggish with the throw. Ramdin is then stumped by Akmal, who has looked super sharp all day. Ramdin lifting his back foot playing a forward defensive. Sloppy stuff and West Indies tottering again. New batsman Smith is off the mark from his first ball faced.

Wicket falls
44th over: WICKET - Samuels c Malik b Hafeez 63, WI 181-5
Bravo is then almost run out, Samuels sending him back, but Hafeez misses with a wild throw. However, Hafeez then picks up the crucial wicket of Samuels, the West Indies bully boy attempting a pull but holing out to Malik at long-on. Massive wicket for Pakistan.

43rd over: WI 175-4
Malik drops short and Samuels drags him round the corner for four.

Wicket falls
42nd over: WICKET - Lara c Akmal b Hafeez 37, WI 168-4
Hafeez does for the West Indies talisman, Lara feathering a sweep to Akmal behind the timbers. Good, sharp glovework from Akmal. Decent knock from Lara, a timely blow for Pakistan. New batsman Bravo is off the mark with a single before Pakistan go up for a caught-behind from Samuels - umpire Bowden is unmoved. Samuels gets two to mid-wicket.

"I'm so happy that the Cricket World Cup has started, but I'm also very worried that it may cause me to fail my degree!"
Graham, Southampton, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
41st over: WI 168-3
Samuels slams a dirty great size 12 down the pitch and slaps Malik way over long-on for a maximum. Fifty for Samuels, and he must have a bat like a traction engine. All hail the Master Blaster. Lara is almost beaten in the flight by Malik, but adjusts just in time, before the West Indies captain plays a peachy sweep for four. Twelve from the over.

40th over: WI 156-3
Don't get me wrong, there are some tremendous looking ladies in Sabina Park today, but does anyone know where the Carib Girls are? I was rather looking forward to seeing them shake some 'booty' today. In fact, I'll square with you, I was quite excited. A couple of singles from Lara and Samuels and both will be looking to put pedal to metal over the last 10 overs.

39th over: WI 152-3
Lovely flight from Malik, beating the lunging Lara. Lara gets one for a clip to mid-wicket and Samuels gets a single of his own with a push into the covers. Four from the over.

38th over: WI 148-3
Struggling to keep up with this over rate, Pakistan are fairly rattling along. Lara sweeps and Yousuf fields like Wilfred Bramble down at third man, stooping rather gingerly and palming the ball off for a mate to lob in.

37th over: WI 143-3
Delicate stroke from Samuels, just feathering Malik down to third man for a couple. Three from the over.

36th over: WI 140-3
Four from Hafeez's over and West Indies have clearly decided to single out Kaneria for a kicking.

35th over: WI 136-3
Sumptuous stroke from Lara, skipping down the track like Wayne Sleep and dumping Kaneria over the long-on boundary. Lara then plays an even better stroke, a dreamy late cut than beats the pursuing fielder to the boundary. The West Indies skipper slipping up through the gears now, like an Aston Martin opening up down the Autobahn.

34th over: WI 126-3
Lara moves to 13 with a sweep to deep square-leg. Hafeez then has an optimistic lbw appeal against Lara turned down by umpire Bowden. Five from the over and on comes the drinks trolley. I'm off for a comfort break.

Sir Viv Richards
"Brian will look at himself as an elder statesmen, so he'll be standing at the other end just admiring the batsmanship of Samuels and enjoying it, rather than worrying about his own scoring."
Sir Viv Richards on TMS

33rd over: WI 121-3
Lara sweeps Kaneria away for one before the bowler is almost deceived by Kaneria, but just gets some bat on it. Lara scampers a quick single, and the West Indies skipper is happy just to dab it around at the moment.

32nd over: WI 118-3
The Sabina Park faithful have been sparked into life by that Samuels onslaught. Just two from Hafeez's over, a single apiece for Samuels and Lara.

31st over: WI 116-3
Samuels trots down the pitch and slaps Kaneria over his head for four. Kaneria then wears a couple of savage bump balls from before Samuels gives it some serious hammer, skipping down the track and dumping Kaneria over long-on for six. Not entirely sure, but I think that's gone straight into the confectionary stall...and out again. Samuels gets another four for a wild swipe before umpire Bowden goes upstairs after a stumping appeal. The third umpire, however, says Samuels got his back foot back in time. A wild, wild over of cricket.

30th over: WI 101-3 Hafeez into the attack with his off-breaks and Samuels takes just one from it. Pakistan rattling through these overs now.

"Instead of seafood cricketers, what about players who sound like cakes? I'll start you off with Danish Kaneria..."
Matthew Sadler in the TMS inbox

29th over: WI 100-3
Sugary sweet shot by Lara, tickling a late cut down to very fine third man for four. The West Indies 100 comes up courtesy of a single from Lara.

28th over: WI 95-3
Samuels breaks off his chains and slaps Iftikhar straight over long-on for six. Didn't look there was much effort in that. It was an Andrex shot - soft, strong and very, very long. He follows up with a savage cover-drive for four and a drag to mid-wicket for one. Lara nurdles a single before Samuels pulls the shell-shocked Iftikhar away for another couple.

27th over: WI 80-3
A couple of wides from Kaneria, pushing down the leg-side to Lara. He may be slightly intimidated by Lara, but the West Indies captain really has to give it some humpty here.

26th over: WI 77-3 Lara loosens the shoulders and Malik makes a salmon-like save in the covers. Greg Louganis would have been proud of that. Another maiden and Pakistan have thumb and forefinger pressed firmly to West Indies' windpipe.

25th over: WI 77-3 West Indies being strangled here, another maiden from Kaneria. Lara has to play one of his classics here, and a very quick one.

Wicket falls
24th over:
WICKET - Sarwan c Younis b Iftikhar 49, WI 77-3
Iftikhar is bowling like a dream. Hafeez makes a fine stop at point to save four off Sarwan before the same batsman slashes and is caught by Younis at slip. Rolls Royce stuff this from Iftikhar and West Indies are tottering. Cometh the hour, cometh Brian Charles Lara.

23rd over: WI 77-2
More shocking fielding from Pakistan, Sarwan gliding Kaneria to third man, Hafeez diving over the ball and the cherry running away for four. Pakistan are fielding like a French troupe of clowns.

"Joel Garner came into my hair salon two weeks ago. That is his natural colour, he does not colour it. I cut Rod Stewart's brother's hair two years ago - he does colour it."
Barber Blacksheep in the TMS inbox

22nd over: WI 72-2
Another jaffer from Iftikhar, beating Sarwan all ends up with a crafty leg-cutter. This is Pollockesque from the unheralded seamer. Sarwan slashes at a rare wide one and gets one for it down to third man.

"On seafood cricketers, how about Inzamam-ul-Hake, who is obviously a great fan of the 'see food' diet?"
Stu, Ashford, in the TMS inbox

21st over: WI 69-2 Kaneria into the attack and his first ball pitches, grips and turns lavishly away from the lunging bat of Samuels. Samuels plays the next ball well, getting right on top of it. Maiden over, though, from Kaneria, and has repaired a bit of the damage caused by some Keystone Cup fielding.

Wicket falls
20th over: WICKET - Chanderpaul c Akmal b Iftikhar 19, WI 64-2
Iftikhar puts Chanderpaul out of his agony, the batsman having a little nibble at one and Akmal taking a good catch diving to his right. That 19 took 63 balls. Samuels is next up the ramp for the hosts. Samuels, another local, gets off the mark with a steer to third man. Sarwan gets four for a thickish outside edge, Kaneria with a desperate dive on the boundary. Not clever by Kaneria, who is making WG Grace look like Jonty Rhodes today.

19th over: WI 63-1
Naved gets one to cut back and chop Sarwan in two. Two from the over, a no-ball and a single from the same delivery.

"The ground is by no means full but the atmosphere's awesome. It's a privilege to be among people who love the game so much. Eevery time there's a boundary, the roar of 'shot' make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up."
Paresh Soni, BBC Sport in Jamaica

"Seafood cricketers, now there's a subject. How about Michael Prawn?"
Paul, Hull, in the TMS inbox

18th over: WI 61-1
Sarwan and Chanderpaul exchange singles before Sarwan drops Iftikhar into the covers and steals a cheeky single. Our man in Jamaica tells us there are still lots of empty seats, and that has to be a worry for organisers. Inzy stoops in the covers and fields well. That could be the most exercise he's done since clipping his toenails this morning. Chanderpaul is beaten by a fizzer of a delivery last up. Three from the over.

Jonathan Agnew
"I thought Joel Garner's hair was a little darker from the last time I saw it - has he been applying some lotion, Viv?"
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

17th over: WI 58-1
A maiden over from Naved and Chanderpaul now has 18 from 56 balls.

"Your reference to the 'crab-like Chanderpaul' got me thinking about World Cup cricketers who could pass themselves off as seafood (I'm very bored today). I'll start you off with Shaun Pollock. If I was a bit smarter, I would call him Prawn Pollock and collect my double seafood bonus, but I'm not, so I won't."
Joe in the TMS inbox

Sir Viv Richards
"The Bermudians are some big units, man..."
Sir Viv Richards on TMS

16th over: WI 58-1
Sarwan is beaten by a jaffer from Iftikhar before the bowler plops short and Sarwan drags him away for four. I have just been pulled up for repeating a Jimmy Saville simile. That will happen over the course of the next six weeks, and I make no apologies...players take drinks. Bit of trumpet action in the stands - I thought the authorities were trying to stamp down on all forms of enjoyment? Just seen someone eating an ice cream. What a deviant.

"I've watched Pakistan over the last few years and undoubtedly they are talented but, mark my words, they do not have the bottle to win the tournament or even tight matches against the big sides."
Muhammad, Birmingham, in the TMS inbox

"You used the 'Jimmy Saville going over Tower Bridge' metaphor the other week, rubbish, boooooooo!"
Ian Melding in the TMS inbox

15th over: WI 54-1
Dreamy shot by Chanderpaul, whipping Naved away for his first four of the match to bring up the hosts' 50. Chanderpaul follows up with a push into the covers for two.

14th over: WI 48-1
Sarwan rocks back and carves Iftikhar away for one. Iftikhar strays onto Chanderpaul's pads and the hosts pick up a leg-bye. Two from the over and the partnership now 41.

"I note that the Players to Watch: West Indies feature on BBC Sport online (incorrectly) shows B C Lara as aged 32, but says that he 'will be nearly 38 by the time of the final'. Blimey! I know this is a long tournament, but..."
Graybo in the TMS inbox

13th over: WI 46-1
Sarwan, unlikely Chanderpaul, is romping along and he dissects the fielders at point with a delightful square-drive. Peche de la peche. Neat turn off his legs by Sarwan for one. The running is a little bit geriatric at the moment. Sarwan ran that like Jimmy Saville going over Tower Bridge in the London Marathon.

12th over: WI 41-1
Iftikhar replaces Naved and beats Chanderpaul with a good, lifiting delivery. Iftikhar is Johnny on the spot with his first six balls and Chanderpaul is crawling along like Gavaskar against England in 1975 - 12 so far from 41 balls.


"Hi guys - after today's entertainment, head to the Terra Nova Hotel in New Kingston (by the Canadian Embassy) and ask Martin behind the bar for a Planters Punch - best drink I've ever tried - and a Bob Marley shot chaser - a fun night is guaranteed!"
Andy Turner, Boston, in the TMS inbox

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11th over: WI 41-1
Another single from the crab-like Chanderpaul before Sarwan tries to give it some more biffda, missing with a wild square-cut. His partner takes a stroll down the pitch and has a little word, probably along the lines of "stop being such a ruddy idiot and trying to get out every ball." Sarwan has another go at a wide one from Gul, and misses again. Sketchy.

10th over: WI 40-1
Sarwan hitting his straps now, unfurling a doozy of a cover-drive for four and following up with a crackerjack lofted drive for another boundary. Good comeback by Naved, but a decent lbw appeal is brushed off by umpire Bowden. Another couple for Sarwan with a mis-timed drive and the hosts are looking settled here.

"Monty Panesar, though a genius with a cricket ball, cannot possibly start as favourite for beard of the tournament. Though undoubtedly a significant newcomer to the international bearding seen, it will take a bit more than a few missed high fives and wide eyed delight to surplant those who have really committed to beards."
George Netherton in the TMS inbox

9th over: WI 30-1
Maiden over from Gul and news in that our man in Jamaica, Paresh Soni, has breached the media police and is in the ground. What a choker, he must have thought he had seven or eight hours sunning himself by the pool and drinking soppy cocktails ahead of him.

8th over: WI 30-1
Crowd still not full at Sabina Park - they're probably still searching people for offensive weapons, like beach balls and water.

7th over: WI 30-1
Cheeky ball from the newly hirsute Naved, rolling his fingers over the top and cutting the ball away from Chanderpaul. Chanderpaul turns Naved away for one and West Indies should perhaps have had two there.

Here is the Beard Liberation Front's long-list for beard of the tournament:
Rawinder Bopara (England), Kenneth Carroll (Ireland), Corey Collymore (West Indies), Chris Gayle (West Indies), Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan), Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Shahriar Nafees (Bangladesh, Monty Panesar (England), Harbhajan Singh (India), Janeiro Tucker (Bermuda), Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan)

6th over: WI 29-1
Sarwan gets one for a steer off his pads before Chanderpaul, who is looking composed, gets a single with a flip to wide third man. Chanderpaul clips the ball to wide mid-off and scampers one. Kaneria the fielder being tested again. 'Flamingo' shot from Sarwan, up on one leg and helping Gul round the corner for four. West Indies have regrouped well after some very nervy early moments.

Email the BBC Sport website and the TMS team on

5th over: WI 22-1
Chanderpaul gets four for a forward defensive! Kaneria, fielding in the covers, collects and appears to succumb to some sort of spasm, whipping the ball miles over Akram behind the stumps and away for four. Odd. Maybe he's developed what they call in the darts world 'dartitis'? Inzamam did not like that. He is wearing the expression of a man who has specifically asked for no beans with his fry-up only to find his plate smothered with the things when it gets served up.

"The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, says that hirsute players are set to play a key role in the Cricket World Cup, with England spin bowler Monty Panesar starting as favourite in the search for the beard of the tournament..."
Keith Flett, BLF, in the TMS inbox

4th over: WI 18-1
First boundary of the day from Sarwan, tickling Naved to the fine-leg boundary for four. Sarwan has another lazy waft at Naved as in beaten on the inside. Sarwan has another mow at a wide one, but misses again. That ball swung quite extravagantly. Another four from Sarwan, a more authentic, composed square-cut. Naved hits back well, getting one to lift and leave Sarwan fencing.

Wicket falls
3rd over: WICKET - Gayle c Akmal b Gul 2, WI 7-1Bit of lift from Gul and Chanderpaul carves him away for one. But Gul then picks up the first wicket of this World Cup, Gayle probing at a ball that seams and cuts away and Akmal pouching the catch behind the stumps. New batsman Sarwan has a horrible wild and windy woosh at the next delivery and Younis puts him down at second slip. That's not clever from Sarwan, and it's even less clever from Younis, who is usually a pretty safe pair of hands. Nervy times for West Indies.

2nd over: Naved shares the new ball with Gul and Chanderpaul glides him down to third man for one. Hint of swing for the seamer. TMS having problems, our scorecard people are having problems and, apparently, our man in Jamaica is having problems getting into the ground. This, ladies and gents, is ruddy chaos. Gayle and Chanderpaul turns Naved share a nurdled single each.

1st over: Gul's first delivery is on Gayle's legs and the batsman turns it away for a single. Chanderpaul blocks his first ball. Gayle, always a relaxed presence at the crease, leaning on his bat and surveying the scene at the other end, like an Essex boy eyeing up totty by the pool in Puerto Banus. Gul serves up the first wide, angling down Chanderpaul's leg-side. Chanderpaul fends a spitter from Gul down to third man to get off the mark. Three from the over.

1428 GMT: Players are out, Gayle, on his home ground, and Chanderpaul strolling to the middle and the former to face first.

West Indies: C Gayle, S Chanderpaul, R Sarwan, M Samuels, B Lara (capt), D Bravo, D Smith, D Ramdin, J Taylor, D Powell, C Collymore Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Naved-ul-Hasan, Iftikhar Anjum, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria

1425 GMT: A lot of chat about the organisers clamping down on fun in the build-up, but it sounds like Romford high street at 2am on a Friday night out there. Stereos booming out from all corners of Sabina Park, although apparently fans are banned from taking water in. What do they think people are going to do, drip each other to death? Only half full with five minutes to start - apparently huge queues still snaking outside.

"My mum has just had a knee replacement. I just emailed her saying she is a lucky, lucky lady as she gets to see every single game in the cricket world cup. Her response wasn't so positive."
Paul Richards in the TMS inbox

"If you're being impartial about it, you really wnat to see West Indies doing well."
Mike Selvey on TMS

1420 GMT: Just seen some old footage of Inzy at the 1992 World Cup - he looks almost cherubic. Some of the old West Indies legends of 1975 and 1979 being paraded round the ground. That's some serious pressure for the new boys.

Jonathan Agnew
"Good morning Mike Selvey - it's hard to tell whether you've dressed up or down for the occasion..."
Jonathan Agnew on TMS

1415 GMT: So it will be Gayle and Chanderpaul to open for the hosts and that's a well-balanced opening partnership - the hard-nosed thuggery of Gayle and the irritating stickability of Chanderpaul.

1412 GMT: I feel a bit jittery for some reason, a bit like I used to feel before swimming lessons at school. That might have had something to do with Miss Goldsmith, a deceptively kindly looking woman who had a penchant for throwing those big, black rubber bricks at her pupils.

1409 GMT: West Indies have not selected Bradshaw, which must go down as a surprise - he's a pretty handy one-day bowler. No Afridi for Pakistan, which is a shame for the neutral. I like watching him going ruddy berserk at the crease.

"It's an opportunity to get in, get settled and set a decent total. The pitch looks dry so there might be some seam movement early on, but if we survive that we'll be all right. It's a momentous occasion for myself and all Caribbeans."
West Indies skipper Brian Lara

1403 GMT: Inzamam wins the toss for Pakistan and decides to have a bowl. Spinner Kaneria is in - Inzy predicts the pitch will turn.

1400 GMT: Pakistan going through a fairly vigorous exercise routine out in the field, but no sign of their skipper Inzamam. Reminds me of a couple of weeks ago when I saw Don Johnson in Guys and Dolls. There's everyone 'Rocking the Boat' on stage and old Don's stood in the corner looking 'fly'. Cheeky sausage.

1352 GMT: Funnily enough, it's really, really hot in Jamaica. Hosts West Indies and Pakistan are set to kick the tournament off in about half an hour, but still no sign of any team news.

1350 GMT: Afternoon ladies and gents. So here it is, the first match of the longest sporting event since Nero sat down one day and thought, "you know what, I'm going to give everyone 100 days off so that they can watch a load of blokes get eaten by weird animals". I don't expect anything in this tournament to get as savage as that, unless maybe if Ricky Ponting gets his eye in against the Netherlands.

Pakistan - Players to watch
22 Feb 07 |  Pakistan
West Indies - Players to watch
16 Feb 07 |  West Indies


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