West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd Test, St Kitts, 2nd day May 21, 2011

Pakistan edge ahead with regular wickets


West Indies 184 for 8 (Samuels 57, Hafeez 2-16, Rehman 2-46) trail Pakistan 272 (Azhar 67, Ahmed 57, Akmal 56, Rampaul 3-68) by 88 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Tanvir Ahmed and Pakistan's phalanx of spinners put the tourists in control of the second Test against West Indies on the second day in Basseterre. With Saeed Ajmal, Ahmed first put together a rousing, defiant last-wicket stand of 78 to not only prevent Pakistan's first innings from going to total waste, but actually make it a little imposing.

Ajmal, Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Hafeez then shared six wickets between them as West Indies slumped to 184 for eight on a still decent surface for batting; proof of that was in an elegant fifty from Marlon Samuels. The two sides are among the weakest batting-wise in cricket which is no bad thing for it makes for compelling cricket.

More than anything, Pakistan's spinners were persistent, working their way patiently through the bulk of the batting. Occasionally a partnership lingered or resistance emerged, an obstacle appeared; each time they found a way through.

Ahmed had struck first in a spell which made up in control what it lacked in pace. Off the second ball of the innings, Lendl Simmons was sucked into a needless drive. Taufeeq Umar, once among the best slippers in Pakistan, took the first of three good catches. Another loose drive brought the wicket of debutante Kraigg Brathwaite, though the beneficiary Wahab Riaz was poor. He had nearly given away the initiative when Ramnaresh Sarwan took him for three boundaries in an over, but the arrival of spin halted progress.

Rehman slotted in immediately, stopping runs, but it was Ajmal who caused strife. It wasn't so much the succession of off-breaks, but what each subsequent one hid: the threat of the doosra. Pleasingly, not many came and it was to an off-break that Sarwan fell, another needless rush out of the crease.

Mohammad Hafeez, more bowler than batsman this series, then chipped in. Darren Bravo, initially lost among Brathwaite's debut and Sarwan's blitz, fought neatly with Samuels till he edged Hafeez on the stroke of tea. Soon after the break, Hafeez struck again to remove Brendan Nash.

Hafeez used, it was Rehman's turn. Carlton Baugh wasn't much of an issue, but the key breakthrough was the dismissal of Darren Sammy. Another promising partnership was building when Sammy tried to repeat a straight six from the previous Rehman over. He struck it well, only to see Umar Akmal running along the boundary to take an outstanding catch inches from the rope.

The one obstacle that proved more durable than others was Samuels. Only in the XI because of Shivnarine Chanderpaul's late withdrawal, Samuels at first looked precisely like a man playing his first Test in over three years. But a loose, brief second spell from Riaz in the run-up to tea allowed him to unfurl a couple of sweet square drives and settle down.

After tea he looked better, secure in defence, surer in attack. He didn't always read Ajmal, choosing to play him off the surface but it hardly mattered when he was driving him elegantly over extra cover for four and six. Rehman had already been dispatched over long-on.

In between those strokes, he was patient and measured. But he took on Ajmal once too often. Having already hit him straight, there was little need for another and next ball, Taufeeq took his third, excellent catch of the innings, diving forward at long-off.

That was fitting reward for a day that had been Pakistan's, the first hour apart. In that, they lost three swift wickets and looked set to be rolled over for under 200. Only when Ahmed and Ajmal came together was the innings given unexpected solidity.

Ahmed was his usual self, mixing muscular boundaries with those unique whips, Caribbean style. One such, over midwicket off Devendra Bishoo, brought up the fifty partnership half an hour before lunch. In the next over came two more, a punch through covers and a dainty clip wide of mid-on. And as lunch neared, a streaky edge brought an accomplished maiden fifty. He celebrated immediately, cutting for another boundary.

Ajmal gave obdurate support, mixing fortune with pluck. He regularly and comically pulled, once going fine for four and once top-edging for six over slips. Other than that he stuck around, adding the odd run, frustrating the bowling.

West Indies slumped swiftly, alarmingly. The second new ball was wasted, Kemar Roach either too full or short and Ravi Rampaul lacking the energy of earlier bursts. Sammy toiled, but Bishoo floundered as defensive fields were employed. Bishoo finally ended the stand, ten minutes before lunch trapping Ahmed in front but the tide had turned.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Bragwattie 18 yrs...On Test debut first ball 4 then loose shot and gone for 15. Great player but this is a boy doing a man's job. Looks like there would be another Xier Marshal ...come too early gone too early. What a way to rebuild WI --lol

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    The west indies will make a come back .so Mr.Pps Chawla you stay in Pakistan and keep on dreaming oak.Go Windies.

  • Umar on May 22, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Yousuf and Younis must return. Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and Tanvir all should get chances.

  • M Athar on May 22, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    riverlime: you are living in a cuckoo land.....iF....IF....IF....did anyone stop Windies from reviewing the incident, tailenders have occasionally performed in every country's history, otherwise you would not have any records. Last time it was the Indian tailenders who scored against the Windies at this ground. Ahmad played some wonderful shots and as far as the fielding goes, it is the Captain of the side who should take the cane not the opposition who score runs. Pakistan is going to win this game.

  • zahir on May 22, 2011, 11:01 GMT

    Misbah shows a lot of selfish attitude in his play, including his disastrous drag in the WC semi-final. Just because he is the captain he imposes himself in the slip position and has missed half a dozen chances including sitters. Had another fielder been there WI would have been all out by now. He should be ashamed of expoliting his position as captain. How can he turn to another fielder to complain about any blunde? Where is the concept of leading by example? Disciplne has always been out let down.

  • Basim on May 22, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    riverlime: there is no such thing as "gifted" in cricket...! If it was like this then pak hav lost too many matches by "gifting" chances to their opponents.. Then in WC, pak gifted tendulkar and hence gifted them the world cup......... dont be so optimistic about such things coz in the end realities matter not gifts..!

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Pakistan are on way to win the 2nd test match.Well I predicted before 1st Test Match that Pakistan may find difficult to avoid defeat and before the start of 2nd test match I predicted that they will recover more and West Indies may suffer as their performance may decline.

  • joel on May 22, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    What a load of rubbish! The only difference between the two teams was the fact that the last wicket for Pak scored 78 gifted runs. I say gifted because at 188/8 , Tanvir was out and neither the keeper nor the captain asked for a review. Add in dropped catches and a failure with the bat and Baugh is teetering on the edge of a precipice. On top of that , Sammy posted defensive fields for two tailenders, and allowed singles at will. Pak should have been out for under 200, and in theory WI would now have been 12 runs shy of the target.

  • Senthil on May 22, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    I am not able to see responsibility in west Indies batting line up...Throwing out wickets cheaply to spinners. There are lot of left handers in overall windies cricket. First they should go and get trained to handle the off-spinners.. If they improve in that department they can easily become the strongest batting line up in the world... Bowlers able to get some runs on board.. Why cant the batsmen do the same??? I dont think windies will win this match, they need to get pakistan bundled out for 150 to win this match.. But I dont think this is not possible on a batting track..

  • shahab on May 22, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    the batting for WI need to click.Darren bravo has stopped scoring although he looks good.he should be replaced by shiv in d india series n let samuels stay in d team.also, sars constantly dropping in form. he needs to step up.

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