Third Test


Toss: West Indies. Test debuts: Nadeem Khan, Shakeel Ahmed.

Wet weather on all but two days caused the game to be abandoned early on the final day, a mildly controversial decision as it was taken by the Englishmen, umpire Bird and referee Subba Row, without West Indian umpire Bucknor. There were stages of the match when Pakistan were in the ascendancy, yet but for the rain, West Indies would probably have won again. They had reinstated Cummins because Bishop was resting his back, and Pakistan had two new caps. The injured Aamir Sohail having gone home, Shakeel Ahmed opened the batting, while Aamir Nazir was replaced by the left-arm spinner, Nadeem Khan. Rashid Latif had recovered from injury, to return as wicket-keeper.

Until the ball started to keep low on the fourth day the pitch was on the batsman's side. Entertainment was abundant on the opening day, with West Indies rattling up 344 while nine wickets fell. All their early batsmen established themselves, but got out trying to plunder runs, and the innings was in need of repair when Waqar Younis, who took five wickets for the first time in the series, had Arthurton lbw. Against this background Hooper played an innings of stirring virtuosity. He made 178 not out off 247 balls, with 19 fours and four sixes. He overwhelmed the bowling with strokes both majestically orthodox and cutely improvised. Walsh, his partner in a stand of 106 - West Indies' highest for the last wicket against all countries - needed to face only 30 balls in 23 overs.

Ambrose and Walsh removed Pakistan's openers for four runs. Asif Mujtaba, with a stolid fifty, and Javed Miandad rebuilt the innings. They were interrupted by rain and, when play resumed, Benjamin used the pitch's extra liveliness to make the breakthrough. Miandad was lbw and one ball later more rain ended play. Pakistan made little headway next morning; Mujtaba, so assured against pace, was completely tied up by Hooper. Basit Ali batted for 163 minutes but after he played across a full-length delivery Pakistan lost three more wickets for 31 runs, and needed another 12 to avoid the follow-on with only two wickets in hand. Inzamam-ul-Haq would have joined the procession but Benjamin dropped him at long leg. With Nadeem Khan he dug in to add 96, batting with authority and charm for his maiden Test century.

With Pakistan remaining until the end of the third day and the start of the fourth delayed, the draw was beyond doubt. But the match's embers were stoked by a thrilling eight-over spell from Waqar Younis. He did not come on until the 13th over, but almost at once bowled Simmons with a ball of full length and had Richardson lbw next delivery. Shortly after giving that verdict umpire Bird, suffering from a trapped nerve in the back, left the field. Within minutes, Waqar appealed to the reserve umpire, Clancy Mack, against Haynes for a close-call lbw and was denied. At 68, he claimed successfully against Lara and Arthurton. But Haynes and Hooper held out until the end of the day, and then the rain set in.

Man of the Match: C. L. Hooper. Man of the Series: D. L. Haynes.

Close of play: First day, West Indies 344-9 (C. L. Hooper 116*, C. A. Walsh 0*); Second day, Pakistan 85-3 (Asif Mujtaba 50*, Basit Ali 0*); Third day, Pakistan 326; Fourth day, West Indies 153-4 (D. L. Haynes 64*, C. L. Hooper 29*).

© John Wisden & Co