Where to start with this, my first World Cup game? I’ve been thinking long and hard on my drive home from Trent Bridge.

I’ve seen some off the wall innings, performances and moments at Trent Bridge in the last 7 years, enjoying many days watching cricket. I saw a great game between England and India last summer, Virat Kohli scored 200 runs across his 2 innings and Jos Buttler scored a fine century to take the Test match into a 5th day. I was there earlier in the summer when England scored 481 against Australia in a complete runs fest. one of the individual moments that stands out is the 6 hit by Liam Plunkett on the last ball of the match for England to tie with Sri Lanka in 2016. And I was there for that remarkable morning in 2015 when Stuart Broad took 8 Australian wickets for just 15 runs when they were bowled out for 60 in the Ashes test which ultimately saw England win the series.

All of those add up to wonderful moments, today I went to Trent Bridge to support my second team, Pakistan. Their preparation hadn’t been the best, in spite of a 5 match series against England by way of an extended warm up, plenty of runs were scored by Pakistan, but a 4 nil series loss wasn’t ideal. Nor was a loss to Afghanistan in the actual warm up match, the second against Bangladesh was rained off.

West Indies on the other hand scored 421 runs in their one completed warm up match against New Zealand. They won that one by 91 runs, their earlier match against South Africa saw no result due to the weather.

Today’s match won’t stay in my memory bank as a wonderful memory other than for the people I saw and spent time with. But, at least I had my ticket so saw all of the match, unlike many others who spent hours in a queue trying to get theirs.

I’m going to keep the actual cricket part brief, due to the fact that the match itself was, well, brief.

Pakistan were bowled out for 105 in 21.4 overs, within that 105 were just 9 Fours and 3 Sixes, two of which came from Wahab Riaz batting at 10. Fakhar and Babar shared a top score of 22 apiece. The West Indies bowlers pretty much demolished this Pakistan line up, and peppered them with bouncers. 4 were caught behind by Shai Hope. The Universe Boss, Chris Gayle took a catch at slip, in spite of leaving the field at least twice, he was there and waiting when the ball came his way. Oshane Thomas took 4 for 27 and was named Man of the Match. This was a disaster as far as the Green Team were concerned.

Fakhar just before the ball clattered into his grill then the stumps!
West Indies celebrate the wicket of Imam

In response the West Indies took just 13.4 overs to reach 108. There was something to cheer for the loyal Pakistan fans however, as Mohammad Amir took 3 wickets in the 6 overs he bowled, for 26 runs. Gayle scored 50 from 34 balls, including 6 Fours and 2 Sixes, almost matching Pakistan on his own! He fell victim to Amir, and by the time he was out he looked to be struggling with his back. His participation raises interesting questions when he doesn’t seem to be that keen on fielding, it can seem the West Indies are fielding 12 men rather than 11. Regardless this was a superb start for the West Indies, teams will have watched their bowlers with some interest!

A side benefit of a 50 over match that lasted just over 35 overs was the fact that there was time to spend with my good cricket friends Nigel and Ammar along with Ammar’s lovely family. I also managed to touch base with new friends from the Stani Army, who were remarkably upbeat!

My next match takes me to the Oval to watch Bangladesh play South Africa, hopefully that one will last for the 100 overs!

With the time approaching midnight I’m going to press the publish button now and add the photos another time.

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