Brilliant Windies make it look easy

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An astonishing display of power hitting from Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo took West Indies to 166/4, which proved enough to reach the World T20 semi-finals and knock out Pakistan.

An astonishing display of power hitting from Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo took West Indies to 166/4, which proved enough to reach the World T20 semi-finals and knock out Pakistan, who could only offer 82 all out in reply.

West Indies won the toss and Chris Gayle (5 off 4 balls) was stumped off Hafeez (2 ovs, 1-15) early in the innings. Fellow opener Dwayne Smith (8 off 13 balls) didn't last much longer as he edged an angled Umar Gul delivery.

22/2 (4 ovs) was rocky, but a slow but stable partnership between Lendl Simmons (31 off 29 balls) and Marlon Samuels (20 off 18 balls) offered consolidation before a run out saw the end of Simmons.

During the same impressive Shahid Afridi (4 ovs, 1-23) over, Samuels struck a big straight six and was clean bowled the next ball.

Dinesh Ramdin (5 off 10 balls) failed to help matters and at 84/5 it looked unlikely that the Caribbean team would post a challenging target.

But Twenty20 is an unpredictable animal and the devestatingly in-form Darren Sammy (42* off 20) and an excitable Dwayne Bravo (46 off 26) made what was probably the best bowling attack in the tournament look like a bunch of schoolboys.

Umar Gul conceded 21 runs off the 18th over and then Ajmal went for 24 in the 19th. Aside from Gul and Ajmal, all four of the other bowlers were economical and took one wicket each.

Sammy and Bravo gave West Indies 82 runs in the last five overs – the most in the final five overs any team has managed against a Test playing nation. Bravo was named man of the match for his performance.

Sammy, a captain who was repeatedly doubted for his ability to compete at this level, has the following scores from his last six T20I's: 30*, 15*, 11, 14*, 34* & 42*, a batting average of 146 runs at a strike rate of 243.33. No mean feat.

Pakistan's pursuit of 167 got off to the worst possible start as Ahmed Shehzad, who made a hundred in his last outing, was dismissed first ball of the innings LBW to Krishmar Santoikie(3 ovs, 2-9).

Spinner Samuel Badree (4 ovs, 3-10) wasted no time in getting a piece of the action himself as he raced through the top order and dismissed Kamran Akmal (0), Umar Akmal (1) and Shoaib Malik (2) in quick succession to leave the chase in tatters and Pakistan reeling at 13/4.

By the time Sunil Narine (4 ovs, 3-16) was handed the ball, Pakistan had little but faint hope to keep them motivated and even that was short lived as the little magician weaved his way to another impressive set of match figures.

The West Indies celebration was subdued compared to the one that was criticized for being over the top after the victory against Australia but the match had really been won several overs before the finish.

T20 is highly suited to the high-voltage style of the Calypso cricket and the reigning champions will feel they have a good shot at defending the title.

Wednesday is a rest day and then the West Indies will play Sri Lanka on Thursday and South Africa will play India on Friday. The final is on Sunday.

In the womens' tournament, Australia will play West Indies on Thursday and England will take on South Africa on Friday. The womens' matches will take place in the same Mirpur stadium and promise to be closely fought and highly entertaining.

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