Misbah seals series win
Pakistan wrap-up series with two games to spare
Last Updated: 29/04/11 8:20am
Misbah: Steady half century guides Pakistan home
Pakistan beat the West Indies by three wickets in Barbados to clinch their five-match ODI series by moving into an unassailable 3-0 lead.
The tourists made it three wins out of three with a win in a rain-reduced match thanks to a steady half century from Misbah-ul-Haq as Pakistan threatened to through away a promising position.
The veteran right-hander applied patience above all else in a match-winning innings of 62 from 109 balls to edge his side past a modest target of 171 with three wickets in hand.
West Indies produced a feeble collapse as they batted first, losing their last nine wickets for 79 runs and failing to even bat out their revised allocation of 45 overs.
Lendl Simmons (51) and Darren Bravo (47) had seemingly set a platform in an 86-run stand for the second wicket, but their good work was completely undone as some insipid strokeplay prompted their capitulation.
After Hafeez trapped Devon Smith lbw for a duck with his first delivery, Simmons and Darren Bravo responded with their steadying stand but after the wicketkeeper-batsman reached 51 from 64 balls he bunted a return catch to give Saeed Ajmal the first of his three wickets.
Bravo then became Hafeez's second lbw victim soon after, three runs short of his half-century, when he missed a delivery that would have hit leg stump.
From then on some woeful batting heralded a procession of wickets. Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo both fell cheaply. Samuels handed Junaid Khan his first ODI wicket when he was bowled attempting a reckless thrash, while Dwayne Bravo miscued Riaz (three for 38) to Shehzad at mid-off.
Skipper Darren Sammy fell to the same partnership with a similarly disappointing stroke, although Andre Russell perhaps made the most comical of exits when he comfortably missed a full-blooded swipe off Ajmal and was stumped.
Finally, the innings came to an end when last man Bishoo ambitiously attempted a reverse sweep off Ajmal, only to scoop his effort to Riaz at short third man.
Pakistan looked vulnerable early on when Rampaul removed Ahmed Shehzad and Asad Shafiq for first-ball ducks with his first two deliveries, and when Mohammad Hafeez followed in his next over the hosts took the upper hand for the first time in the series.
Misbah was thrust into action in just the second over with Ravi Rampaul on a hat-trick, as Pakistan crashed to 12-3, but after seeing off the early threat of Rampaul (4-32) Misbah dug in alongside Umar Akmal (30) and Hammad Azam (36) to guide his side into an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
Umar Akmal blasted 30 from 27 balls before Rampaul had him caught by wicketkeeper Simmons but Misbah's temperament was unwavering and, with Azam, he broke the back of the chase in a 78-run stand.
Devendra Bishoo provided another late scare when he claimed three quick wickets, but Misbah was unmoved and with some nerveless hitting from Wahab Riaz (17 from 16) saw his side home with 29 balls to spare.