Windies chalk up another loss

Opener Chris Gayle slammed 124, but West Indies lost a record ninth consecutive one-day cricket international and Pakistan’s 22-run victory wrapped up a 3-0 series sweep on Sunday.

Pakistan, who had already clinched their first triumph in any Caribbean series on Saturday, will attempt to add the two-Test rubber starting on Thursday in Barbados.

The West Indies’ string of failure means they have won only one one-day international in 13 since beating England in the Champions Trophy final last September.

Gayle cracked 13 fours off 137 balls to lead a spirited home-team chase that was cut short at 281 in 49,3 overs.

Abdul Razzaq took four for 45, while fellow pacer Rana Naved claimed 3-48.

Pakistan, behind half-centuries from Shahid Afridi, Bazid Khan and Yousuf Youhana, compiled a formidable 303 for six off 50 overs after being sent in.

Afridi, named man of the match and series, supplied early acceleration with six fours and two big sixes in a sizzling 56 off 30 balls.

Bazid, in only his third match, was the anchor of the innings, top-scoring with 66 off 97 deliveries. His stand of 96 for the third wicket with Youhana gave Pakistan substance in the middle overs.

Youhana, who lashed five boundaries, hit an even 50 off 63 balls. All the visitor’s batsmen chipped in, with Yasir Hameed hitting 41 and stand-in captain Younis Khan 40 off 34 balls.

Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, who ended 24 not out off nine deliveries, smashed sixes off the last three balls of the innings to crack 300.

Corey Collymore was the best West Indian bowler with 2-51 off 10 overs. Ian Bradshaw took an expensive 2-78.

The West Indies’ reply was paced by Gayle and fellow left-hander Wavell Hinds’s stand of 90, the best first-wicket partnership in the home team’s international season. Hinds contributed 35 off 47 balls.

Razzaq decisively removed Hinds and Ramanresh Sarwan (four) in his first two overs. Hinds under-edged a pull to the wicketkeeper, while Sarwan stroked to extra cover where Younis Khan held a stunning diving catch.

Gayle and captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul restored hope in a third-wicket stand of 75, but offspinner Shoaib Malik removed Chanderpaul just when he was beginning to blossom with 33 off 36 balls, before lofting a catch to long-off.

Gayle brought up his 11th one-day century shortly afterward, but Runako Morton stalled the pursuit in an innings of 27 off 39 balls. Morton and Dwayne Smith fell five runs apart and once Gayle fell at 250-6 in the 46th over, the result was inevitable.

Naved sealed the victory by claiming Dwayne Bravo, Courtney Browne and Pedro Collins with straight, full-length bowling.

Earlier, Afridi powered Pakistan with some typically robust hitting after they were sent into bat.

The visitors reached 87 in 11 overs before Collymore cut the right-hander short as he holed out to deep midwicket.

Yasir followed soon after, edging Pedro Collins to the wicketkeeper as the home team enjoyed their best period.

But Bazid and Youhana sensibly forged a partnership that set up the big total. The pair passed 50 in successive overs, but Youhana fell just after as he tried to lift the scoring rate.

Youhana lofted a catch to long-off off the part-time medium pace of Hinds. Bazid and Younis added a further 48 for the fourth wicket before Bazid was yorked by Collymore.

Bradshaw claimed Abdul Razzaq (18) and Younis in the frenetic closing overs. Razzaq edged a full toss to the wicketkeeper and Younis was brilliantly caught diving forward from long-off by Morton.

But Akmal spoiled Bradshaw’s effort with three massive hits off the last three balls of the innings. — Sapa-AP

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