DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, (CMC): Reigning World champions West Indies were humbled by Pakistan in the opening Twenty20 International here yesterday, after virtually condemning themselves with a feeble batting effort at the Dubai International Stadium. Sent in, they recovered from a shocking position of 48 for eight in the 12th over to stumble to 115 all out with a ball remaining in the innings, and Pakistan wasted little time in cruising to their target in the 15th over, to complete an uncomplicated nine-wicket victory and take a valuable 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was the only one to emerge from the encounter with any semblance of pride, striking a top score of 55 from 54 balls under pressure. Spinner destroys WI The damage was done by left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, who ripped through the innings with a Man-of-the-Match spell of five for 14 from his four overs. In reply, Pakistan never looked in danger of botching their run chase and Babar Azam made sure of this with a fluent unbeaten 55 off 37 deliveries. In only his second T20 International, the right-hander smashed six fours and two sixes and posted a match-winning, unbroken 88-run, second wicket stand with opener Khalid Latif who made a patient 34 not out from 32 balls. With the second T20 International scheduled for today at the same venue, West Indies were left with several problems to solve in a short space of time. Without the experience of axed captain Darren Sammy and the unavailable Chris Gayle and AndrÈ Russell, West Indies stumbled and stuttered from the outset. Imad became the first Pakistani spinner to take a five-wicket haul in T20s. When Sunil Narine (1) failed to beat Latif’s direct hit from mid-off on a badly judged quick single, West Indies were in a deep hole but Bravo bailed them out with a quality knock which included four fours and two sixes. He started slowly with his first 18 runs requiring 32 balls but accelerated to reach his fourth T20I half-century off 50 balls. He took 13 runs from the 15th over bowled by Tanvir and combined with Tylor to garner 19 from the following over from seamer Hasan Ali – the most expensive over of the innings. Bravo raised his half-century in the 19th over by clearing the ropes at cover with left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz but perished in the deep off the penultimate delivery of the innings, with West Indies desperately chasing runs. The Windies then needed an early breakthrough to remain in the game but none came, as Sharjeel Khan hammered three fours and a six in a 17-ball 22, to dominate an opening stand of 28 with Latif. And even when he bowled by leg-spinner Samuel Badree in the fourth over, Latif and Babar kept Pakistan on course with positive stroke-play.
Portmore United, last year’s Red Stripe Premier League’s beaten finalists, could have undermined their chances of going one better this year with their untimely separation from technical director Lenworth Hyde.Hyde, according to sources, was informed on Thursday last by Mrs Donna Ming, wife of Herman Ming, who founded the club under its original name, Hazard. Mrs Ming, the Sunday Gleaner was informed, brought Hyde on board in October to assist Coach Linval Dixon as two other members of last season’s coaching staff, Andre Waugh and Geoffrey Hewitt, were not re-engaged.In an attempt to get confirmation, Hyde was contacted, but he declined to shed any light on the matter. While not denying that there was a separation between himself and the club, Hyde said he had no comments to make.”I am neither in a position to comment on the situation nor do I wish to. You will have to speak with Mrs Ming or someone in the leadership of the club,” Hyde said tersely.Pressed further, Hyde again referred the Sunday Gleaner to Mrs Ming, expressed thanks for the call and said he had to go.The Sunday Gleaner called the phone of Mrs Ming no fewer than five times, but on each occasion, it rang and eventually went to voicemail.Hyde, one of the more successful coaches in the league, having led Tivoli Gardens, Portmore United and Harbour View to the title, was said to be very popular with the players and his departure has caused a division in the squad, the source also said.- N.W.