Cricket World Cup 2019: Andre Russell leads West Indies' short-ball barrage to decimate Pakistan

Ajit Vijaykumar 17:26 31/05/2019
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West Indies blew Pakistan away through short-pitched bowling.

Nottingham has witnessed two of the highest totals in ODI history – 481 and 444. Recent record also pointed to a high-scoring encounter when Pakistan took on West Indies on Friday. But in overcast conditions and against a fired-up pace attack, the men in green were blown away for 105 in just 21.4 overs to succumb to a seven-wicket hiding.

West Indies won the toss and decided to bowl first, hoping to make the most of overcast conditions. But what they got was beyond even their wildest dreams as Andre Russell went on a short-ball offensive that was picked up by the rest of the attack and Pakistan simply had no answer.

Russell picked up two wickets for four runs in three overs of high pace while young quick Oshane Thomas snared 4-27 as Pakistan were shot out for their shortest innings in World Cup history.

The chase was a bit tricky with Windies batsmen also struggling against the short ball but a fifty from opener Chris Gayle was enough as they chased down the target three wickets down in 13.4 overs.

The entire match barely lasted 35 overs – not even half an ODI.


Dre Russ is feared the world over for his insane hitting power, as was seen during the IPL. But in his opening game of the World Cup – his first ODI in a year – Russell showed the other facet of his incredible repertoire; quality pace.

Before knee issues held him back, Russell was a genuinely quick bowler who cranked up the speed gun to 150kph to go with his batting. But with his knees giving way, Russell had to cut down on his bowling.

However on a stage like the World Cup, Russell the bowler could be unleashed and it was the all-rounder who first exposed Pakistan’s weakness against the short ball. Opener Fakhar Zaman was going great guns before a quick short delivery hit him flush on the helmet and then on to his stumps.

Middle order batsman Haris Sohail was roughed up further before a 91mph delivery from Russell fizzed past his shoulders, took the outside edge of his bat to the keeper. West Indies had stumbled upon a a cruel and mighty effective formula.


Oshane Thomas.

Oshane Thomas.

Oshane Thomas is in the Windies team as a battering ram and he took over from Russell, hammering away at the Pakistan batsman. Babar Azam wafted at a wide delivery to be caught acrobatically by keeper Shai Hope while veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez was bullied into skying another bouncer.

Last man Wahab Riaz took the score past 100 before losing his woodwork to a Thomas yorker. The burly quick topped 90mph on multiple occasions and gave the Windies attack a menacing edge. Five wickets that fell on the day were to the short ball.


While Gayle was going hammer and tongs in the chase, blasting 50 off 34 balls, left-am pacer Mohammad Amir found some much needed rhythm from the other end.

Pakistan went in with experienced pacers Amir and Wahab Riaz and all eyes were on the former to see if he could rattle the Windies and cement his spot in the team, after a poor year in ODIs. Amir got the ball to nip around and also gained extra bounce from a responsive pitch, getting three wickets in the process. It was the first instance since the Champions Trophy final against India in June 2017 that Amir had taken two or more wickets in an ODI.

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