A superb bowling effort helped the West Indies notch a two-wicket win against Pakistan in their ICC Champions Trophy opener at The Oval.
Paceman Kemar Roach (3-28 off 10 overs) and spinner Sunil Narine (3-34 off 10) were excellent with the ball for the West Indies, who bowled Pakistan out for just 170 in 48 overs on Friday.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq (96 not out) and Nasir Jamshed (50) were the only two batsmen to reach double figures for the losers in their Group B clash.
In response, the West Indies reached their victory target with 9.2 overs to spare, with contributions from Chris Gayle (39) and Marlon Samuels and Keiron Pollard (both 30) helping them over the line.
Captain Dwayne Bravo won the toss for the West Indies and sent Pakistan in, with his decision paying immediate dividends.
Imran Farhat (two) fell in the first over of an inspired Roach spell, with Mohammad Hafeez (four) the next to go when he was bowled by the speedster.
And when Asad Shafiq (0) became Roach's third victim, Pakistan were reeling at 3-15 in the seventh over.
Misbah and Jamshed then put on a handy partnership of 90 to stem the Windies' momentum.
But just when Pakistan looked comfortable, Narine struck - as Jamshed skied an attempted slog over cover, with Ravi Rampaul completing the catch at long off.
Just three balls later Narine had another wicket, with Shoaib Malik (zero) falling for a first-ball duck when he picked out Dwayne Bravo at short mid-wicket.
Narine added the scalp of Kamran Akmal (two) just two overs later and Misbah was quickly running out of partners.
He found the boundary on a semi-regular basis, hitting five fours and three sixes in his 127-ball stay at the crease.
Wahab Riaz (six), Saeed Ajmal (two), Junaid Khan (zero) and Mohammad Irfan (two) came and went relatively quickly though, with two late run-outs not helping their cause, as Misbah was stranded, just four runs short of his first ever One-Day International century.
The West Indies made a wobbly start to their run-chase as Johnson Charles (nine) and Darren Bravo (zero) were both dismissed by left-armer Irfan.
Gayle and Samuels were composed in a 63-run union for the third wicket, though, and while Gayle was explosive at times – he hit four fours and one six in his innings – he was also patient in waiting for the right ball to attack.
Spinner Ajmal (2-38 off 10) claimed the prized scalp of Gayle in the 17th over though, and Ramnaresh Sarwan (one) fell in the next over.
Samuels' stay at the crease ended when he was stumped off the spin of Hafeez (1-14 off four) and at 5-94, all of a sudden Pakistan became the favourites.
Pollard – known for his aggressive hitting – played a mature innings though, and his 58-ball 30 was pivotal.
Dwayne Bravo (19), Denesh Ramdin (11 not out) and Narine (11) all played crucial roles alongside Pollard and it was left, fittingly, to Roach to end the match as he hit Junaid for four through point to give his side an ideal start to the tournament.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 08 June, 2013 8:35AM AEDT