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May 29, 2005
West Indies wrapped up a comprehensive 276-run win at Bridgetown, to take a 1-0 lead in the short series. Chris Gayle took his second five-wicket haul in Tests as the Pakistan tail subsided after lunch, following a memorable innings by Shahid Afridi, who made 122 from just 93 balls.
It is West Indies' first significant Test win since they beat Sri Lanka in June 2003 (their only success since then was against Bangladesh) and is a first victory for Shivnarine Chanderpaul as captain.
Pakistan, through the flashing blade of Afridi, showed some defiance in the morning session, but after he skyed to mid-off shortly before lunch it was only a matter of time for West Indies. Their last stumbling block, Abdul Razzaq, fell to a smart piece of stumping from Courtney Browne, and Gayle's quick offspin proved too much for the tail.
When Danish Kaneria was caught behind second ball the small crowd erupted - finally having the chance to celebrate a win - while the players looked relieved and smiled for the first time in a long time. Gayle finished with 5 for 91, and bowled plenty of overs on the final day, as West Indies were missing Fidel Edwards with a hamstring injury.
At the start of the day you could have been forgiven for thinking that Pakistan were the side in control of the match, such were the strangely negative tactics employed by Chanderpaul, who was happy to set defensive fields. However, the fielders would have had to be standing on the roof of the stands, and in the roads outside the Kensington Oval, if they wanted to take any catches once Afridi got going.
That is apart from Devon Smith, who dropped a routine catch at long-off from Afridi's first ball of the day. Gayle floated one outside the off stump and Afridi couldn't resist having a dip. Smith saw the ball all the way, but probably had too long to think about it, and it bobbled out and went for four - signalling the start of Afridi's explosion.
Asim Kamal was almost anonymous at the other end, despite playing more shots than yesterday evening. He provided a perfect foil for Afridi, and reached a half-century of his own. Gayle made the first breakthrough when he got one to bounce at Kamal, who tried to cut but could only glove it to slip. Smith made amends for his earlier drop, although only partly, as Afridi was still wreaking havoc.
He isn't the type of player to nudge his way to a hundred, and duly reached the milestone in grand style. On 98, he charged down the pitch to Daren Powell and launched the ball over mid-off, and it bounced on the rope. It was given as four - although it should have been another six - and took Afridi to his hundred from 78 balls, the second-fastest by a Pakistani.
He celebrated with two successive sixes in Gayle's next over, and suddenly Chanderpaul was wearing that bewildered look that has become his trademark during a tough summer. To the huge relief of everyone involved with West Indies, Afridi tried to launch Powell over mid-off again, and Chanderpaul was underneath to hold the catch.
Razzaq and Kamran Akmal were the last pair of recognised batsmen, but could not repeat their 185-run stand against India at Mohali, and Pakistan folded meekly in the end. After having West Indies 45 for 3 on the first day, they have never competed, and urgently need Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana to return for the second Test in Jamaica.
For West Indies, they finally have something to celebrate after a long hard season. It was fitting they won at the Kensington Oval, a ground on which they produced so many fine victories during their prime. The key now is to follow this superb allround performance with another in Jamaica, and end the season with some silverware.
How they were out
Salman Butt c Gayle b Edwards 0 (0 for 1)
Brilliantly caught at second slip after flashing at a full one
Younis Khan run out (Chanderpaul) 0 (1 for 2)
Left stranded attempting a quick single to cover
Yasir Hameed c Browne b Powell 11 (16 for 3)
Tickled one that was shaping away
Bazid Khan lbw b Collymore 23 (47 for 4)
Caught on the crease by a ball that nipped back in
Asim Kamal c Smith b Gayle 55 (162 for 5)
Ball was too close to cut, gloved to slip
Shahid Afridi c Chanderpaul b Powell 122 (257 for 6)
Skyed attempted drive to mid-off
Abdul Razzaq st Browne b Gayle 41 (277 for 7)
Foot on the line has he dragged forward
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan c Lara b Gayle (295 for 8)
Driven straight to mid-off
Kamran Akmal b Gayle 21 (296 for 9)
Beaten by a quicker yorker
Danish Kaneria c Browne b Gayle 0 (296 all out)
Thin outside edge, attempting a drive
Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of CricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
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