By BV Swagath
Pakistan have taken a crucial 2-1 lead after defeating West Indies in a rain-affected Fourth ODI at St Lucia. Marlon Samuels’ 5th ODI ton went in vain as Pakistan chased down a revised target of 189 with am over to spare.
Misbah-ul-Haq took the wise decision of fielding first with rain around the corner. The match was delayed by rain before beginning as a 49-over affair. West Indies struggled against the new balls but recovered in the middle overs to post a highly competitive total of 261 for 7. Marlon Samuels held the innings together with an unbeaten 106 (from 104 balls with 9 fours and 4 sixes).
Chris Gayle, who was demoted to no.5 scored 30 from 46 balls while Lendl Simmons, the man in-form chipped in with 46 from 44 balls.
Pakistan chasing 262 were 68 for 2 in 17 overs before rain interrupted play. When the action resumed, Pakistan needed 121 in the remaining 14 overs. Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq sealed the chase with a 72-run stand for the 4th wicket. Hafeez scored 59 from 62 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes. Skipper Misbah played a blinder, scoring 53* from 43 balls with 3 fours and a six. Umar Akmal supported him in the cause with a cameo of 29* from 18 balls. Marlon Samuels was given the Man of the Match although his century went in vain.
The final ODI is at this same venue in St Lucia with West Indies in a must-win situation to draw the series 2-2.