May 19, 2000

Unwavering Wavell puts Windies in front

Colin E. Croft

The West Indies have taken a small but psychologically important first innings lead of 30 over Pakistan as they closed the second day early due to bad light on 283-5.

This was due almost entirely to Jamaican Wavell Hinds, playing in only his fourth Test match, who played a magnificent, ultra aggressive and absolutely flawless innings for his first Test hundred, 165, pummeling the Pakistani bowling to every part of the outfield while hitting an incredible 24 fours in his more than six hours at the crease.

The aggression came from Sherwin Campbell and Wavell Hinds, who came together when, with the score on 11, and his individual score on 4, left-hander Adrian Griffith moved inside a Waqar delivery, only to touch it to wicket-keeper Moin Khan, who took a good catch moving to his right.

Opener Sherwin Campbell, who had four centuries and twelve half centuries to his name before this current innings, has played some tremendous shots, including three sixes, hooks from fast bowlers Wasim Akram's and Waqar Younis's bowling, the other a pull from leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed's bowling, to bring up his 13th half century in Test cricket.

Wavell Hinds has followed suit, taking the attack fully to the Pakistanis. He might have looked somewhat ungainly in approach, but no-one can fault him for effectiveness. Many of his drives were airborne, but away from fieldsmen.

Campbell was eventually out bowled by Saqlain Mushtaq, the ball hitting the bat then trickling back on to the stumps. He had made 58, which included three massive sixes and four fours. The pair had put on 133 for the 2nd wicket.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who made nine, seemed uneasy in his short stay at the crease and when he was surprised by a great bouncer from Abdur Razzaq, only to glove the delivery to the wicket-keeper, Moin Khan, no one was surprised.

Hinds completed an absolutely wonderful Test hundred shortly before the tea interval. Hinds, who came in at number three, became the first West Indian batsman operating at that position to get a century since Brian Lara did the same feat in 1993. His hundred was scored from 150 balls and took all of 218 minutes.

Adams fell after tea for 8, caught by Younis Khan at slip off Saqlain Mushtaq. Ramnaresh Sarwan came to the crease for his Test debut. Although dropped at slip by Inzamam, he is also playing confidently and competently. With the score on 282, Hinds hooked Waqar Younis to Inzamam ul-Haq at mid on. Play ended for the day in the next over.

There have been two wickets each for Saqlain Mustaq and Waqar Younis, but Pakistan's tactics seemed rather strange, as world-class leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has only completed 13 overs so far in the West Indies innings which has lasted nearly 90 overs.

With three days remaining in this game and five first innings wickets still in hand, the West Indies may have put themselves into a winning position. At the close of day 2, they are 283-5. Sarwan is 28 not out, while Curtly Ambrose is yet to score.