JOHANNESBURG // The pace duo Mohammad Aamer and Umar Gul shared six wickets as Pakistan beat West Indies by five wickets in their Champions Trophy Group A match at the Wanderers. West Indies, fielding a weakened line-up in the tournament despite their leading players ending a boycott last month over contractual disputes, were dismissed for 133. Pakistan stuttered in their reply before an unbeaten stand of 58 from Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi guided them home with over 19 overs to spare.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, the West Indies batsmen fell flat as the 17-year-old Aamer and Gul reduced them to 47 for seven. Aamer caught and bowled Dale Richards for a single at the end of the first over and then added the wickets of Travis Dowlin for a duck and David Bernard for six to finish with three for 24 in seven overs. Gul produced a probing spell of three for 28 in eight overs as he claimed the wickets of Devon Smith (18), captain Floyd Reifer (7) and Chadwick Walton (0), the latter two with successive deliveries.
There was resistance from the West Indies lower-order, however, as Darren Sammy scored 25 and Nikita Miller made 51, his maiden one-day international half-century. The Wanderers pitch, unlike the flat surface up the road in Centurion, always offered the pacemen some assistance and the West Indian opening bowler Gavin Tonge made use of what was available to make Pakistan sweat in their run chase. He bowled Imran Nazir for five with his first delivery and then had Kamran Akmal (5), Shoaib Malik (23) and Mohammad Yousuf (23) all caught behind by wicketkeeper Walton.
Misbah ul-Haq was dismissed by David Bernard for six as Pakistan slipped to 76 for five. But West Indies' hopes of a dramatic victory dimmed as Umar Akmal played an astute innings, the 19-year-old stroking six fours in his unbeaten 41. * Reuters