Third Test Match

Pakistan v West Indies

At Karachi, December 6, 7, 8, 9. Pakistan won by ten wickets. Toss: West Indies.

Pakistan formalised a 3-0 series whitewash with a ten-wicket victory. After trailing on first innings by 201, West Indies forced Pakistan to bat again, for a few minutes on the fourth morning, to avoid a third innings defeat. It was not much solace.

The Test followed a similar course to the previous two. West Indies' batting failed collectively twice, despite a sparkling century from Hooper in his final turn at the crease. Pakistan relied on another massive partnership, this time an opening stand of 298 between Aamir Sohail and Ijaz Ahmed, a national Test record. Wasim Akram was again irresistible with both the new and old ball, while the immediate and telling impact of off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq emphasised Pakistan's strength in depth. It seemed baffling that Saqlain, who had match figures of nine for 80 and bemused all the batsmen, could have been omitted from the series until then.

On another ideal pitch, and in the best weather so far, West Indies squandered their only good start in all three Tests, sliding from 109 for one to 216 all out. Stuart Williams finally reached double figures, though he wasted his work by being run out; meanwhile, Campbell and Lara picked up runs at leisure off the faster bowlers. But Saqlain changed the game's complexion in mid-afternoon, bowling Lara as he sought to pierce a packed off-side field. Mushtaq Ahmed removed Hooper for a duck and the familiar pattern was restored. Campbell, dropped twice on the way to 50, ran out of luck when an edged cut off Saqlain rebounded from Wasim's knee at second slip into Sohail's hands at first. The tail showed no inclination to hang around and Saqlain finished with five for 54.

Ijaz, opening the batting because Saeed Anwar was injured, embarked on a marathon occupation of the crease which put the squandermania of the opposition's batsmen into perspective. Curbing his natural aggression, he accompanied the more attacking Sohail in a six-hour partnership very reminiscent of the stand between Sohail and Inzamam in the previous Test. There was one difference: here, the West Indies maintained their discipline. But in such batting-friendly conditions, the pair ground on inexorably to big hundreds. Sohail exactly matched his 160 in Rawalpindi before he mispulled a long hop from Chanderpaul on the second evening. Again, the innings declined with relative speed, all ten wickets tumbling for 119. Dillon and Walsh were both rewarded for their perseverance: Dillon completed his first five-wicket haul in his first Test of the series; for Walsh, the first of his four wickets, Moin Khan, was his 350th in 96 Tests. But the total of 417 was still impressive.

Hooper's scintillating 106 off 90 balls ensured that West Indies did regain some dignity. His calculated assault on Mushtaq Ahmed, including three more towering sixes, left Lara an admiring spectator in a third-wicket partnership of 121. It could not last. Lara fell to Saqlain for the second time in the match and, when Wasim returned to bowl Hooper through the gate, the only question was whether West Indies could avoid the innings defeat. They did, but only just. Wasim took the last three wickets on the fourth morning, and Pakistan knocked off the 12 runs needed to complete a historic whitewash.

Man of the Match: Saqlain Mushtaq. Men of the Series: Pakistan - Aamir Sohail; West Indies - C. A. Walsh.

Close of play: First day, Pakistan 34-0 (Aamir Sohail 20*, Ijaz Ahmed 11*); Second day, Pakistan 327-1 (Ijaz Ahmed 127*, Saeed Anwar 15*); Third day, West Indies 198-7 (F. A. Rose 0*, I. R. Bishop 5*).

© John Wisden & Co