KINGSTOWN (AFP) – Powerful late hitting by Kieron Pollard and captain Darren Sammy lifted the West Indies to a competitive 152 for seven against Pakistan in the first Twenty20 international at the Arnos Vale Stadium on Saturday.
Pollard's unbeaten 49 represented a welcome return to form in a version of the game in which he excels, while Sammy's blistering 30 off 14 balls completed the home side's recovery from the considerable discomfort of 42 for four after Sammy won the toss and chose to bat first.
Debutant left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar was the most successful of the Pakistani bowlers, claiming the wickets of Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo at a cost of 23 runs off four overs.
However skipper Mohammad Hafeez also made two important early strikes in accounting for openers Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles and conceding just four runs off two overs.
It was therefore surprising that he did not choose to complete his four-over allottment.
Pollard started the recovery with Dwayne Bravo, the pair putting on 56 for the fifth wicket with a mixture of care and adventure.
He then added 53 for the seventh wicket in double-quick time with Sammy, the pair launching a savage assault on Pakistan seamers Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan on resuming from a brief rain-break.