Second Test

Pakistan v West Indies

At Sharjah, February 7, 8, 9, 10. Pakistan won by 244 runs. Toss: West Indies.

West Indies went down to their fifth consecutive Test defeat, and their 23rd in 27 overseas Tests, with a day to spare. Their batting and fielding let them down again, and although they had no luck with injuries and umpiring decisions, there was little doubt that the better side won. West Indies started the match a batsman short, because Campbell had fractured a finger and Marlon Samuels had a knee injury, forcing them to fill the vacant slot with the leg-spinner Ramnarine. Pakistan also made one change, replacing the new opener, Naved Latif, with Shahid Afridi, which proved far more telling.

Neither the pitch nor the atmospheric conditions warranted bowling first, and Hooper chose to do so solely because West Indies had taken early wickets in the First Test. The move proved a blunder, and was compounded by more fluffed catches. The beneficiary on four occasions was Afridi, who scored a characteristically aggressive 107, blasting 16 fours and three sixes in just three and a half hours. With Younis Khan, he put on 190, a record for Pakistan's second wicket against West Indies. After Afridi's dismissal, another missed chance reprieved Yousuf Youhana, who edged behind before scoring. He went on to make a delightful 60, while Younis proceeded solidly to 153 in nearly seven hours.

Armed next morning with the second new ball, West Indies' bowlers retrieved some ground, getting rid of Younis and Youhana, but an unbeaten 64 by Abdul Razzaq boosted Pakistan's total to an imposing 472. Cuffy was the main wicket-taker, with four for 82 on his 32nd birthday, but the pick of the attack was the luckless Dillon. In the 45 overs West Indies faced before the second-day close, they stumbled to 164 for four, and would have been in deeper trouble had Hooper not been dropped twice at slip by Younis off the spinners. He survived to reach 84 not out next day, passing 5,000 Test runs on the way, but only Jacobs lent him any support. They were all out in mid-afternoon 208 behind.

Pakistan did not enforce the follow-on, preferring to add quick runs, which they did through another big second-wicket stand, this time 144 between Taufeeq Umar and Younis. The declaration finally came three overs after lunch on the fourth day, when they led by 433. They gave themselves 150 overs to bowl West Indies out, but 61 sufficed as Pakistan completed their sixth consecutive win that evening. Though the ball turned viciously from the rough, only two wickets fell to spin.

Instead, the damage was done by Waqar Younis, whose four wickets took him past 350 in Tests, and Razzaq, still finding reverse swing at will to capture three in one deadly spell. West Indies' collapse was precipitated by three lbw decisions - against Ganga, Hooper and Chanderpaul - which TV replays suggested were as unsafe as Ryan Hinds's dismissal in the first innings. Their misfortune merely accelerated the defeat.

Man of the Match: Younis Khan.
Men of the Series: Abdul Razzaq and M. Dillon.
Close of play: First day, Pakistan 344-3 (Younis Khan 131, Yousuf Youhana 47); Second day, West Indies 164-4 (Hooper 40, Dillon 0); Third day, Pakistan 130-1 (Taufeeq Umar 64, Younis Khan 61).

© John Wisden & Co