May 18, 2000

Day No. 1: Test No. 2: Pakistan v West Indies

Colin E. Croft

CLOSE OF PLAY

This has been a tremendous day of Test cricket, with Pakistan recovering well to be all out for a very credible 253. The West Indies closed on 2-0.

After initially being 7-3, Pakistan owe their much improved position to Yousuf Youhanna, playing in his 20th Test. Mixing initial aggression with tempered defense, his 115, his 2nd Test century, probably the innings of his life, was a study of concentration, hitting 13 confident boundaries in his nearly 6-hour stay at the crease. He was the last man out.

Yousuf featured in some crucial partnerships, adding 73 with his captain, Moin Khan, who made 38, for the 6th wicket; then 69 with Wasim Akram, who made 42, for the 7th wicket, 41 for the 8th wicket with Saqlain Mustaq, and 28 with Waqar Younis for the 9th wicket. Mustaq Ahmed was left on 02 not out.

Earlier, the West Indies took up the challenge on a great batting pitch, with veteran fast bowlers Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, along with the quicker Reon King and Nixon McLean running havoc with the Pakistani top order. Soon, Pakistan were tottering, badly, at 37-5. Then the West Indies went somewhat on the defensive, while Yousuf and his senior players played their part by batting purposefully.

Courtney Walsh has again been tremendous, getting 5-22 from 13 overs. He now has 442 wickets in Tests, while Curtly Ambrose had two wickets. So the West Indies will resume at 2-0, chasing 253.

Tea Report:

Pakistan have taken the honors in the 2nd session. At tea, they are 162-6, scored from 51 overs.

Yousuf Youhanna, in his 20th Test, perhaps playing the innings of his life here, on 65 not out, including 10 fours, his 11th Test half century.

All-rounder Wasim Akram, using all of his experience, and who was off the mark with a classic off drive from Ambrose's bowling, is 33 not out, including 5 fours. The two have so far put on 52 very valuable runs for the 7th wicket, Pakistan adding 72 after lunch.

Just when the Pakistanis seemed to be continuing that come-back after lunch, the veteran fast bowler Courtney Walsh took his 3rd wicket of the innings.

After being 7-3 and then 37-5 at varying stages of their innings, Pakistan were recovering somewhat on 110-5 when Walsh had the Pakistani captain, Moin Khan, playing away from his body, pushing forward, only to be caught low down by Shivnarine Chanderpaul at 2nd slip. Moin had made 38, including 7 fours, and was really trying to lead his troops from the front.

Moin had considerable help from Yousuf Youhanna, the pair putting on 73 absolutely vital, innings-saving runs for the 6th wicket. Yousuf seemed to have decided to fight fire with fire, since the West Indian fast bowlers, especially the less-experienced Reon King and Nixon McLean, have both bowled quickly and aggressively.

Each, along with Curtly Ambrose, has taken a wicket, while Walsh, with 3-19 from 11 overs, has been the best West Indian bowler so far.

So, while the West Indies are still slightly in control, Pakistan are recovering well. They are 162-6 at tea.

Lunch report:

The only thing Pakistan won this morning was the toss, as the West Indies, with their four fast bowlers in extremely aggressive mode, have controlled the very entertaining 1st session. Pakistan, though, are fighting back. There are now 90-5.

Firstly, Jimmy Adams, at 3rd slip, pulled off a brilliant diving catch to his right, offered by Mohammed Wasim from Courtney Walsh's 2nd over. Mohammed Wasim, having failed to ride a bouncing delivery, dismissed for 04.

Curtly Ambrose immediately emulated his fast bowling partner as Imran Nazir, in for Wajahatullah Wasti, offered a simple catch from a wide delivery to Sherwin Campbell at 1st slip. Imran Nazir out for 02.

Younis Khan continued the procession when he also played away from his body in Walsh's next over, only to be caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul at 2nd slip. Younis had not scored. It was then 7-3.

The fastest West Indies bowlers, Reon King and Nixon McLean, then took over. King had the dangerous Inzamam-ul-Haq nicely caught at 3rd slip by Adams for 08, a sizzling delivery; while Abdur Razzaq, then on 01, fended at a fast Mc-Lean lifter, only to be caught by Wavell Hinds, diving forwardat forward short leg. That was 37-5.

Pakistan have fought back since.

Yousuf Youhanna has played tremendously enterprisingly so far for 40 not out, including 7 classy boundaries, on both sides of the wicket; while Moin Khan has also tried to counter-attack. He is 27 not out, including 5 boundaries and this pair have so far put on 53 for the 6th wicket.

There has been 2 wickets for Walsh, while Ambrose, King and McLean have each taken a wicket.

So, Pakistan has much to do to justify their decision to bat first. At lunch, they are 90-5.