Guyana: West Indies have pulled off their biggest ever ODI run chase as they beat Pakistan by four wickets in the first ODI at Providence Stadium on Friday.
Put into bat first by West Indies, Pakistan post 308/5 in 50 overs. The homeside chased the target with an over to spare.
Pakistan had made 308/5 with 36-year-old Mohammad Hafeez top-scoring with 88 and half centuries from Shoaib Malik (53) and Ahmed Shehzad (67). Off-spinner Ashley Nurse picked up 4/62 and turned out to be the hosts best bowler.
Chasing down the targe of 309, West Indies top order Opener Kieran Powell (61) and Evin Lewis (47) set the foundation but it was the blistering knock of Jason Mohammed that took the match away from tourists.
Mohammed smashed an unbeaten 91 off just 58 deliveries, aided by an explosive cameo at the end from Ashley Nurse (34 off 15 balls). This is for the first time that Windies successfully chased more than 300 in an ODI.
Mohammed Hafeez led the tourists' batting effort with a top score of 88 to temporarily quell the rising tide of criticism at his position in the batting line-up ahead of prolific youngster Babar Azam.
Opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad benefited from an early slice of luck to get to 67 while Shoaib Malik, who also capitalised on continuing errant out-cricket by the West Indies, flailed away for 53 off 38 deliveries as Pakistan equalled their second-highest total against these opponents in the 50-over format of the game.
Nurse enjoyed success amid the carnage, the off-spinning all-rounder finishing with his best ODI figures of four for 62.
West Indies' chase started badly with the early loss of Chadwick Walton to Mohammad Amir but left-handers Evin Lewis (47) and Kieran Powell (61) kept their team in with an outside chance even if their comparatively pedestrian progress meant the required run-rate was climbing all the time.
Hafeez and Shadab Khan, making his ODI debut after an outstanding T20 series, provided what seemed the critical breakthroughs but Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed paid a heavy price for relying on his faster bowlers to complete victory.
Recognising the threat posed by leg-spinner Khan, Mohammed targeted the pacers to great effect, most of his three sixes and 11 fours coming off them.
The second ODI takes place at the same venue on Sunday April 9.
Pakistan - 308 for 5 (Hafeez 88, Shehzad 67, Nurse 4-62)
West Indies - 309 for 6 (Jason Mohammed 91*, Powell 61, Amir 2-59)
Result - West Indies won by four wickets