SAINT LUCIA: West Indies' joy after their win in the opening Twenty20 of Pakistan's tour was short-lived as they crashed to an eight-wicket drubbing in the opening one-day international at Gros Islet. After the buzz and energy of their performance in the Twenty20, the hosts looked badly behind the pace for much of the game on Saturday and a fatal misreading of the pitch backfired when the seamers were carted for 162 runs in 29.3 wicketless overs, allowing Pakistan's batsmen to canter to victory on a spin-friendly wicket.
However, with every match there are new chances, a new day, new ambitions and new spirit and that could be the different anytime. Second of the five match series will be played today at the same venue.
Monday's game, played at the same venue, will give West Indies a chance to rectify some of their mistakes. The question of team balance is a delicate one for them, however, and the inclusion of both captain Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo when it might be argued that only one of the two similar allrounders should slot in at No. 7 in a balanced XI throws the team's ballast off centre.
West Indies looked a batsman light on Saturday, but it's likely that legspinner Anthony Martin will be brought in for the second ODI - probably at the expense of allrounder Andre Russell - meaning that there will be even less batting firepower, heaping more pressure on a top order shorn of its most experienced members.
The lack of bite in the seam attack on docile pitches also doesn't bode well for the Test series that follows the one-dayers, and for the sake of success in both formats West Indies are going to have to find a way to take more wickets.
The one area of concern for Pakistan - and it's a relatively minor one for a team that has moved seamlessly on from defeat in the tour opener with a commanding performance by both the batsmen and an impressive trio of spinners - can also be found in the seam department.
Wahab Riaz gave away 11 wides and three no-balls on Saturday, while Junaid Khan also sent down six wides, and without the help of extras West Indies would not have passed 200.
Such inconsistency is unforgivable on a pitch that offered minimal movement for the quicks either through the air or off the pitch, but so masterful was the performance from Pakistan's slow bowlers - in particular Saeed Ajmal, whose variations proved impossible to pick - and so composed were their batsmen, three of whom scored half-centuries, that ultimately it barely mattered.
West Indies will be motivated to regain some pride and level the five-match series, but it is Pakistan who start as firm favourites. AGENCIES