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November 20, 2006
Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach, was full of praise for the West Indies on a day when the tourists established a firm foothold in the second Test. Pakistan succumbed to a second career five-wicket haul from Jerome Taylor and Corey Collymore in the morning session, losing their last six wickets for only 94 runs, all out for a disappointing 357.
Adding to their discomfiture, no West Indian wickets fell as Chris Gayle and Daren Ganga put on 151 runs by the end of the day, both men scoring fifties. Woolmer acknowledged the swing in fortunes to reporters after the day's close. "West Indies had a very good day today. I thought Gayle and Ganga batted extremely well and made it hard work for our bowlers. They played Danish Kaneria well because I thought he bowled a good spell."
The damage was done though by the West Indian bowling and Woolmer recognized their efforts with the new ball, taken first thing in the morning. "The ball started swinging and that was crucial. They bowled extremely well with the new ball and produced some excellent deliveries. We would have obviously liked to score more runs."
The collapse was initiated early, Taylor removing Inzamam-ul-Haq with one of the excellent deliveries Woolmer mentioned. Speared in to his pads, it cut away sharply and caught his edge; squared up, Inzamam looked to have been beaten by a fast leg-break. Taylor happily called it a prize wicket. "We all know how dangerous Inzi is and I was very happy with it."
At the other end, Collymore pulled out an unstinting, behemoth spell of 15 overs. Taylor said, "He kept up the pressure from the other end and really bowled well." He might have added without any fortune, as two catches were dropped off his bowling and batsmen beaten regularly. It has been his fate thus far in the series.
The tourists moved into a robust position by the end of the day, at 151 for no loss, 206 runs behind. A first Test victory in Pakistan for 16 years is more tangible than it has been at any time since, during which they have suffered four heavy Test defeats on the trot. Much work remains to be done and the pitch is showing no signs of offering help to bowlers.
"The wicket is not conducive to fast bowling and there is still a lot of work to be done. It actually gets better for batting. But we just have to bowl in the right areas and if we can do that again, then we are definitely in with a chance," said Taylor.
A look back at five high-profile exhibition matches