Second Test


Toss: Pakistan. Test debut: Aamir Nazir.

West Indies made one change, dropping Cummins for Winston Benjamin. Pakistan were forced to replace Mushtaq Ahmed, sent home because of his injured back, with the uncapped pace bowler, Aamir Nazir. Aamir Sohail played despite groin and hamstring injuries and Wasim Akram had barely recovered from 'flu.

The pitch was hard, with an island of green grass at each end on a fast bowler's length. Heavy rain before the start, and another shower after nine balls, were followed by hot sunshine, creating a degree of humidity ideal for bowling. Pakistan, in accordance with Kensington Oval tradition, chose to bowl first. But the move proved fruitless; wicket-keeper Moin Khan dropped Simmons twice in one over, denying Pakistan value for a fine opening spell by Waqar Younis, and Wasim again had little of his usual control. Simmons also edged and played and missed against Waqar but, having survived this ordeal, played a volatile innings of 87 off 90 balls. His belligerent tone was sustained in the afternoon by Richardson and Lara. Haynes batted in businesslike fashion to compile another century; if less adventurous than his partners, he severely punished the bad balls, which came regularly. At the end of the day, West Indies were 351 from 77 overs. Of the four batsmen dismissed, only Richardson, lbw, was genuinely beaten. Next day the new ball brought Pakistan just one success, Waqar having Hooper caught behind with a beautiful out-swinger. Wasim was bowling one of his better spells, and was unlucky to have Arthurton dropped at short leg in an over in which he passed his bat three times.

By the end of the day Pakistan had been reduced to 131 for five. Ambrose and Walsh had each produced one truly deadly ball, Haynes brought off a remarkable gully catch and Javed Miandad played a loose cut. However, Basit Ali survived and, on the third day, built the most heroic innings played for Pakistan in the series. In for 228 minutes, he was not out with 92, scored off 174 balls, with 11 fours and a six. Wasim, looking less than comfortable, supported him for most of the morning, but after he was caught at short leg the four remaining wickets went down for 32 runs, of which Basit scored 29, rejecting numerous singles to keep the strike.

Following on, Pakistan were 113 for three. Hopes of a recovery raised by a 66-run partnership between Asif Mujtaba and Miandad were shattered when Miandad wantonly chanced his arm seeking a second successive six off the penultimate ball of the day. West Indies resumed after the rest day without Bishop, who had an injured back, and dropped three chances. But Pakistan's scraps of good fortune were offset by an outrageous lbw decision against Mujtaba by umpire Barker and a dubious one against Inzamam-Ul-Haq by Bird. Basit, eighth out, again strove valiantly, but it was the bravura of Waqar that forced West Indies to bat again. Nevertheless they won the Test, and thus the series, with more than a day to spare. Walsh took seven wickets in the match to become the seventh West Indian to pass the 200 mark in Test cricket.

Man of the Match: D. L. Haynes.

Close of play: First day, West Indies 351-4 (K. L. T. Arthurton 19*, C. L. Hooper 11*); Second day, Pakistan 131-5 (Basit Ali 33*, Wasim Akram 3*); Third day, Pakistan 113-3 (Asif Mujtaba 36*, Moin Khan 0*).

© John Wisden & Co