West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd Test, St Kitts, 3rd day

Taufeeq puts sloppy West Indies to sword

The Report by Osman Samiuddin

May 22, 2011

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan 272 and 202 for 3 (Umar 97*, Sammy 1-29) lead West Indies 223 (Samuels 57, Hafeez 3-23, Ajmal 3-56) by 251 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Taufeeq Umar plays a straight drive, West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd Test, St Kitts, 3rd day, May 22, 2011
Taufeeq Umar played some accomplished straight drives on the way to his unbeaten 97 © Associated Press
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Ably assisted by the West Indies, Taufeeq Umar worked Pakistan into a formidable position on the third day of the second Test at Basseterre. Taufeeq's unbeaten 97 helped the tourists close on 203 for 3, 251 runs ahead already and well-placed for a series-levelling win.

Having fought back through their tail in the morning, West Indies missed numerous chances - dropping Umar twice by the time he was 13 and once on 94 - in a miserable display in the field. They also took a wicket off a no-ball in the very first over of the innings. The early chances were crucial because until this morning, Taufeeq's batting all series had a constipated feel to it, itching to break free mentally, yet physically unable. When he edged Kemar Roach in the third over only for Darren Bravo to shell a regulation chance at first slip, something in him twitched: he'd stared death in the face and not blinked. A little freedom crept in, disbelievingly at first as he drove Roach next ball down the ground.

In Roach's next over, he cut and drove him again but immediately after, he looked death in the face a second time, Darren Sammy dropping him at second slip. Unburdened and believing now, Umar tore into the most forceful batting from either side all series. Three boundaries came from Roach's next over, two drives before he fairly ripped into a cut. Sammy arrived only to be driven through extra cover. Every shot for a while was firmly struck, heavy with intent before a first opening fifty stand was brought up as lunch approached; unsurprisingly it was another straight drive that brought it.

Hafeez, the fortunate recipient of the Roach no-ball, was a keen partner, though after lunch the tempo dropped drastically. Taufeeq decided now was the time to cash in. For the rest of the day he was unrecognizable from the morning stud, a dour old man of an innings, of nudges, glides, bunts and sturdy defence.

He brought up fifty quietly a little before the day's halfway mark and hit not a single boundary after lunch until half an hour before the close. Typically, it was a straight drive. Thereafter he roused in a bid to reach a first hundred in nearly eight years before the close, driving Rampaul again before being dropped - athletically - by Lendl Simmons at mid-off. A few balls later he narrowly avoided being run out.

But across the afternoon there was relief from Azhar Ali in a pleasant and surprisingly fluent innings. He gave one chance at slip, but looked in little trouble, driving and cutting well in a 76-run stand. More significantly, he rotated strike, which he doesn't often do. Particularly useful in this endeavour was the paddle sweep he employed regularly against the spinners. Soon after tea he reached an inevitable eighth Test fifty but just when a first, breakthrough hundred looked equally inevitable, he fell, cutting to slip.

Both the wicket-taker Devendra Bishoo and the West Indies in general deserved that, for they sharpened up after lunch. Sammy bowled those inswingers Pakistan are unable to comprehend - they come in - to which Hafeez fell; another good start wasted. Bishoo controlled the other end in a good, long spell through an equally long afternoon, unlucky not to have Umar stumped and Ali caught earlier. The very real threat of a big-turning, big-leaping jaffa remained throughout.

Roach of the wretched luck also returned for an energetic spell after tea in which Asad Shafiq was sent back. Ultimately, West Indies did well to keep Pakistan down to just 147 runs after lunch, not only keeping the potential target down, but taking time out.

Still it didn't mask the dominance of Pakistan's position or how the sterling morning work of Rampaul and Roach was wasted. Late yesterday, the pair had landed some heavy blows; not so this morning. From the offset they looked secure and the strokes were accomplished, none of the impatience of the top-order of both sides.

The first boundary came as Roach guided Abdur Rehman through slips and in the next over, he cut Tanvir Ahmed for a far more authoritative boundary. An over later, as Rampaul cut Hafeez for two, the fifty partnership came up.

Eventually it was left to Hafeez - who has at times looked Pakistan's most threatening bowler - to break through, deceiving Roach in flight. Soon Bishoo gave Umar at slip his fourth catch of the innings. How West Indies must have wished later he was standing in their cordon to himself.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 23, 2011, 16:08 GMT)

Ramdin had his chances, in fact too many in my opinion. Clearly he's not seized them. Guess he felt that he was a sure pick for the rest of his career. Ramdin hasn't matured into the Test player most fans expected given his rich potential. With him, it's a head thing. His batting average is the LOWEST of all the regular Test 'keepers. He should stay on the sidelines with Ganga, Pollard, Devon Smith & co. Suspect Baugh will get a long run just like Ramdin. Bim has a good up and coming 'keeper named Shane Dowrich. Former team mate of current Test debutant, Kraigg Brathwaite. He's more of a 'keeper-batsman rather than the other way around. Has a better FC average than Ramdin, obviously in less games. Played for Bim last season,doing well with the bat. Just left the famous Combermere School and is only 19. One to watch for the future if he continues to improve his keeping/batting.

Posted by   on (May 23, 2011, 15:37 GMT)

The West Indies look a beaten team here....

Posted by   on (May 23, 2011, 13:11 GMT)

It is amazing how some jump on a phrase"He upsets the balance of the team". Fact is the team had no balance when only 1 or 2 players perform in any given match.Sammy does what he does to his max potential, while the 'stars' are given all types of excuses for failing, then the team is picked with the premise that person a, or b must olay. Utter NONSENSE.

Posted by Stos on (May 23, 2011, 13:08 GMT)

@adesh007: Yes, unfortunately Sammy can find it hard to get down to the ball when he is injured, although even injured he is still better than most of their other slip options. This is shocking. Perhaps we should replace Sammy with Devon Smith, a specialist slip fielder who has contributed far more to the West Indies in this series. Perhaps we should also injure Smith in order to make sure that he is still an effective slip fielder while injured.

Posted by PaddyRasta on (May 23, 2011, 8:26 GMT)

@simonviller Ramdin has been cast into oblivion and is off the radar. I agree he should be back in, but the excuse for anyone else coming in Baugh, Thomas and others is that Ramdin has had 5 years to fail (with the bat). So they will give these guys numerous chances (probably 5 years) and not put the better specialist WK in who has shown better recent form with the bat. That would be admitting they were wrong.

Posted by KarachiKid on (May 23, 2011, 8:07 GMT)

All Pakistani batsmen have a mental block - maybe they are better than what their performance suggests. But they badly need a batting mentor, preferably in form of on-field playing batsmen, people like Younus and Yousuf. Misbah is okay but his own international experience is limited and if he justifies his own place while being the captain, thats enough. Without Younus and Yousuf, this team is basically spineless. Once Younus is back, they can take cut Umar Akmal from tests and Asad Shafique from T20s/ODI's. Bring Fawad Alam in tests and ask Umar Akmal to learn to build an innings in ODI's.

Posted by   on (May 23, 2011, 7:54 GMT)

Will Umar get his century on start of play!!!!!!

Posted by khurramsch on (May 23, 2011, 7:32 GMT)

for pakistan to win this match key will be now run rate. they should atleast bowl 35-40 overs to WI today. & make most of runs as quickly as posible today. its a test of misbah & waqar when to declare. but run rate must increase now. at thiks rate they wont make anything. WI already won 1st & they wont mind a draw so pakistan need everything to win.

Posted by khurramsch on (May 23, 2011, 7:28 GMT)

for all you guys who are saying tht its only WI fielding & if we hold that catch or this catch : this is part of game. pakistans fielding is also poor. Dopnt forget if we count these "IFS" in 1st test match for pakistan then pakistan would have won it. for example IF pakistan hold catch of bisho on 0 then last wicket partnership was 3 runs not 48. so better get over it its part of game.

Posted by adesh007 on (May 23, 2011, 6:31 GMT)

Well a poor fielding display with a very poor selection by the WI captain who is supposed to a better fielder than his batting or bowling skills. His presence upsets the balance of the team as he is playing himself as a bowler when he is supposedly a fielding all-rounder. WIBC will never learn, maybe we should get rid of the senior WIBC personnel.

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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