May 20, 2000

Day 3: Test 2: Pakistan v West Indies

Colin E. Croft

Close of Play:

The latter stages of Day 3 belonged fully to Pakistan and their opening batsmen. At the close, they had raced to 152-0, a credit of 7 runs, after erasing that 1st innings deficit of 145 without losing a 2nd innings wicket.

Mohammed Wasim looks comfortable on 53, including five 4's, his 2nd Test half century, while 18 year old Inram Nazir, perhaps Pakistan's answer to West Indian Ramnaresh Sarwan, has played even more enterprisingly for his 94, including fourteen superlative 4's. This is Inram Nazir's highest Test score; his 2nd Test half century in only his 2nd Test.

Earlier the West Indies managed a very accomplished 398, delighting the largest crowd of the game so far, thanks mainly to Wavell Hinds's hard-hitting 165, his first Test hundred in his 4th Test; and to a classy 84 not out from Test debutante Ramnarace Sarwan on the 3rd day.

Saqlain Mustaq was Pakistan's best bowler, his marathon spell of 51 overs yielding an impressive 5-121. With fast bowling all-rounder Abdur Razzaq off the field for the entire day, Saqlain was ably assisted by Wasim Akram, who had 2-84, and Wasqar Younis, who had 2-72.

So far, none of the West Indian bowlers have made any impact at all, achieving little deviation either in the air or from the pitch, as the Pakistani openers now look to engineer a match-saving, perhaps a match-winning Pakistani 2nd innings total. So far, they have succeeded well. Pakistan will restart on Day 4 at 152-0.

Tea Interval:

The period between lunch and tea provided tremendous excitement for this large Saturday crowd, with the West Indies eventually being out 398 about half hour before the normal tea time, but and early tea was taken anyway.

That score was due to a wonderfully controlled, absolutely mature debut Test innings by young Guyanese Ranaresh Sarwan, who batted 260 minutes, facing 231 deliveries and hitting eight 4's in amassing 84 undefeated runs of the highest grade before he eventually ran out of partners.

What a wonderful start this has been for the young man. He became the 4th current West Indies player to make a debut Test half century, after captain Jimmy Adams (South Africa - 1992), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (England 1994) and vice-captain Sherwin Campbell (New Zealand - 1995). With this sort of display, Sarwan will see many more Tests.

Today, the West Indies lost Curtly Ambrose, for 22, Ridley Jacobs, for 10, Nixon Mclean for 01, Reon King, for 02 and finally Courtney Walsh, who provided great entertainment in slashing 22, including two 4's and two 6's.

Walsh and Sarwan came together with the score on 362-9, so they added invaluable runs 36 for the last wicket.

Overall, the West Indies added 115 today and have an overall lead of 126 and has an overall lead of 145, thanks to Sarwan's efforts.

With medium pacer Abdur Razzaq off the field with a foot injury for the entire morning, Saqlain Mustaq, Wasim Akram and Mustaq Ahmed have done most of the bowling work on the 3rd day for Pakistan.

Saqlain finished with figures of 51-8-121-5, while there were two wickets for Wasim, 2-84 from 33 overs, and Waqar, 2-72 from 17 overs, and Mustaq Ahmed had one wicket.

With such a healthy lead, the cards are all in the West Indies' hands to try to force a win in this game. They certainly hold all of the advantages now.

Lunch Interval:

There has been good, exciting cricket from both teams as the West Indies moved quickly from their overnight 283-5 to 345-8, the West Indies adding 62 while Pakistan took three wickets.

Test debutante Ramnaresh Sarwan, playing with great confidence for his 55 not out, thought somewhat bogged down in the 2nd hour today, brought up the 300 with a magnificent cover drive for four from Wasim Akram's bowling.

He has hit six 4's so far in his stay of nearly four hours, and has become the 4th current player to score a half century on debut, joining Jimmy Adams (South Africa), Sherwin Campbell (New Zealand) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (England).

Curtly Ambrose, though, was making all of the running for 22, including three 4's, before he was caught at 2nd slip by Younis Khan from Wasim's bowling when the score was 321. Big Curtly and Sarwan had played the 2nd new ball well, adding 39 for the 6th wicket.

Ridley Jacobs, who needed some runs for his own confidence and the West Indies continued resurgence, was comprehensively beaten and bowled by Saqlain Mustaq for 10; 338-7.

Nixon Mc Lean did not last long, caught at forward short leg by Yousuf Youhana from Wasim's bouncing delivery, for 01; 339-8. Reon King is 00 not out.

Saqlain Mustaq now has 3-83 from 38 overs, while Wasim Akram had 2-76.

That magnificent 1st Test century by Wavell Hinds on the 2nd day, a big one too, 165 in only his 4th Test overall, is still the buzz of this much larger 3rd day crowd. Those 24 flamboyant fours, and his 601 minutes at the crease, were definite signs of maturity and class of a young batsman whose place in the team was being questioned by a few.

As it stands now, that West Indies lead over Pakistan's 1st innings 253 is a handy 92 with still two 1st innings wickets in hand.

It will now take some very intelligent batting by Sarwan and the rest of the West Indies lower order to perhaps see the West Indies to a lead in excess of 150.

At lunch, with Ramnaresh Sarwan on 55 and Reon King yet to score, the West Indies are 345-8.