Windies maintain control despite second innings batting jitters
by AFP

Ground:Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
Scorecard:West Indies v Pakistan
Player:FH Edwards, CD Collymore, Salman Butt, Younis Khan
Event:Pakistan in West Indies 2004/05

DateLine: 27th May 2005


Though their batsmen did not capitalise on the hard work of their bowlers led by Fidel Edwards, West Indies were still holding all the aces in the opening Test against Pakistan.


Edwards collected five wickets for 38 runs from 14 overs, as Pakistan were dismissed for 145 on Friday to concede a first innings lead of 201.


The Pakistanis however, hit back to restrict West Indies to 168 for four in their second innings when stumps were drawn on the second day.


Shahid Afridi snared the important wickets of batting superstar Brian Lara and the silky Ramnaresh Sarwan to shake up the West Indies.


West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul was undefeated on 37 and has added 31 with fellow left-hander Wavell Hinds to consolidate their side's position.


Batting a second time, West Indies enjoyed their best opening stand of their international home season when Chris Gayle and Devon Smith put on 59.


The two opening batsman however, perished in the first hour after tea, when Smith was caught behind for 10 off Abdul Razzaq, and Gayle was caught at forward short leg for 50 off Danish Kaneria after striking six fours from 56 balls in 1-1/4 hours.


West Indies suffered a further setback when Sarwan was caught behind for one off Afridi to leave the home team on a precarious 65 for three.


Lara added 72 for the fourth wicket with fellow left-hander Chanderpaul and that eased some of West Indies' worries, but just when it looked like they were about to really cut loose, Afridi struck again.


Lara, a century-maker in the first innings, essayed a drive and was stumped for 48, when he overbalanced and failed to get his backfoot behind the popping crease in time. It was a decision that had to be referred to the television replay umpire for adjudication.


Chanderpaul and Hinds however, batted through until the close, and hold the keys to their side's destiny, after the bowlers had put West Indies in the driver's seat.


Edwards gained diligent support from Corey Collymore with three for 20 from 8.4 overs, and Reon King with two for 46 from 11 overs.


Younis Khan, who is leading Pakistan in the absence of the suspended Inzamam-ul-Haq, hit the top score of 31 for the visitors, and opening batsman Salman Butt scored 27, but the rest of the batting failed to come to terms with the West Indies bowling.


Before lunch, four wickets, two apiece to Edwards and Collymore, kept West Indies competitive and restricted Pakistan.


Edwards snared the wickets of Afridi and Yasir Hameed in the first hour of the day, and Collymore picked up where his compatriot left off with the wickets of Butt and Bazid Khan in the second hour.


Afridi was caught at third slip for 16 when he edged the fast, full, third ball of the day that swung away and wrong-footed him.


Hameed spent just over half an hour at the crease, but he never looked settled, and was put out of his misery when Edwards bowled him off the inside edge for 12.


After Edwards and new-ball partner Daren Powell bowled through the first hour, Chanderpaul turned to Collymore and Reon King, and things continued to happen.


With his first ball, King saw compatriot Sarwan drop Butt, on 21, at second slip, but Collymore made sure that it did not cost West Indies too much, when he had the left-handed opener caught behind for 27 driving loosely outside the off-stump.


Collymore also had Bazid caught behind for nine in the penultimate over before the lunch interval.


King then struck with the fourth ball after lunch, when Asim Kamal was caught at gully for a duck and, next over, Edwards had Younis caught at mid-on to leave Pakistan on 100 for six.


There was only limited resistance from the tail of the Pakistani batting and the last four wickets fell for 31 runs in the space of 9.4 overs.


West Indies, who were beaten 2-0 at home by South Africa in their most recent Test series, have won just one Test in their last 18 matches, against lowly Bangladesh.


Pakistan have never won a Test at Bridgetown, much less a Test series in the Caribbean, on five previous trips.


This is the first Test in a series of two, with the next match starting at Kingston's Sabina Park on Friday, June 3.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)