DateLine: 16th December 2006
Openers Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal hit half-centuries to power Pakistan to a comfortable seven-wicket win in the fifth and final one-day international against the West Indies here on Saturday to take the series 3-1.
Hafeez scored a career-best 92 while Akmal made 56 as the home team successfully chased the 239-run target with 3.1 overs to spare at the National stadium.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit 101 to help the tourists post 238-7 in 50 overs.
Pakistan, who won the second match at Faisalabad by two wickets and the third in Lahore by seven wickets, raced to 87 by the 17th over, with Akmal severe on the West Indian bowlers.
The 24-year-old wicket-keeper-batsman took 15 off one Daren Powell over, with two fours and a six, and then ten off Corey Collymore. He reached his fifty off just 47 balls.
Akmal holed out to Collymore in the 17th over but Yasir Hameed joined Hafeez and ensured that Pakistan remained on course for a victory with an 89-run second-wicket stand. Hameed gave a catch in the deep off Chris Gayle.
Hafeez and Shoaib Malik (34 not out) added another 48 runs.
Hafeez, whose previous best of 69 was against England at Old Trafford in 2003, hit five fours and two sixes during his 111-ball knock, before falling leg-before to Dave Mohammed when the win was just 15 runs away.
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was delighted with the series win.
"The credit goes to the players and they did very well to help us achieve the series win. It would help boost our confidence ahead of the South Africa tour and the World Cup next year," said Inzamam.
West Indian captain Brian Lara praised his young team for their good performance over the past three months.
"We have lost the series to a better team and Inzamam and his boys deserve the credit but I am proud of the boys, who did well on a long three-month tour in which we finished second in two tournaments," said Lara.
The West Indian total was built around a solid 142-ball knock by Chanderpaul, who added 96 runs for the fourth wicket with Lara (44) before paceman Rana Naved-ul-Hasan halted their progress with 4-43.
Chanderpaul helped the tourists recover from the early loss of opener Chris Gayle, who was trapped leg-before by Naved for nine.
Chanderpaul, who missed the second and third matches due to a knee injury, batted with a runner in the latter stages of his innings before completing his fourth one-day century.
A catch in the deep ended his innings, which had boosted the tourists' chances of a series-levelling win.
Chanderpaul put on 34 for the second wicket with Lendl Simmons (21) and another 51 for the third wicket with Marlon Samuels (22) before bolstering the innings in the company of his captain.
Lara, while on 25, became the fifth batsmen in one-day international cricket to score 10,000 or more runs. He achieved the milestone in his 287th match.
Lara's 55-ball knock was ended when he was bowled by Naved in the 44th over. Naved also dismissed Dwayne Smith (one) to finish with three wickets in his last four overs.
Pakistan were boosted by the return of Inzamam, Mohammad Yousuf, Umar Gul and Abdul Rehman as they made four changes from their line-up for the fourth match. The tourists brought in paceman Collymore in place of Ian Bradshaw.
The West Indies won the fourth match of the series by seven wickets. The first match was cancelled due to rain.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)
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