First Test Match

West Indies v Pakistan 1999-2000

At Georgetown, May 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Drawn. Toss: West Indies.

A finely balanced contest was reduced to a saturated anticlimax when torrential rain forced the abandonment of the final two days. Yet again, the authorities were left to ponder the wisdom of scheduling Test matches in Georgetown, given the almost perennial threat of rain in this equatorial region.

Inzamam-ul-Haq's tenth Test century, and his 206-run sixth-wicket partnership with Abdur Razzaq, lifted Pakistan from 39 for five after the West Indian fast bowlers had wreaked havoc under grey skies on the first morning. Ambrose led the assault with three wickets, while Walsh and King provided potent support. King dismissed Moin Khan with his first ball in a Test on his home ground and had Inzamam missed at second slip by the diving Campbell before lunch. It proved a costly chance as Inzamam, finding a resolute partner in the unflappable Razzaq, wrested the initiative with a mixture of watchful defence and effortless strokeplay. Fifteen boundaries - he was to hit 20 in all, most of them caressed with typical nonchalance - took him to a hundred, while their partnership broke Pakistan's sixth-wicket record against West Indies, set by Wazir Mohammad and Abdul Kardar in 1957-58. King, in a reprise of his opening-day feat, made the breakthrough when he had Inzamam lbw with his first delivery of the second day, and Pakistan lost their last five wickets for 43. Razzaq failed to capitalise on two dropped catches, falling 13 short of a maiden Test hundred.

West Indies made heavy weather of their reply after the early loss of Campbell, caught at slip. Griffith took four boundaries off Waqar Younis before falling lbw to Razzaq, whereupon Mushtaq Ahmed claimed the next three wickets and the home side were 139 for six by mid-afternoon on a rain-shortened third day. Only Chanderpaul, returning after he missed the one-day series because of exhaustion, showed the confidence to use his feet to Mushtaq's leg-spin. With McLean crashing his way to a Test-best 46 in their stand of 74, a record for West Indies' seventh wicket against Pakistan, the balance was redressed somewhat before Waqar and the second new ball saw off McLean. Shortly afterwards, ominous clouds approaching off the Atlantic confirmed the considerable risk of planning for five consecutive dry days on the northern fringe of one of the rainiest places on earth.

© John Wisden & Co