Pakistan in command in third Test

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CAUGHT SHORT: Denesh Ramdin's defiant knock comes to an end as Abdul Razzaq runs him out. Photo: AFP
CAUGHT SHORT: Denesh Ramdin's defiant knock comes to an end as Abdul Razzaq runs him out. Photo: AFP

  • Yousuf 46 runs shy of breaking Viv Richards's record
  • Ramdin hit his fourth Test half century

    KARACHI: Mohammad Hafeez hit a patient unbeaten half century on Wednesday as Pakistan moved toward setting a challenging target for the West Indies in the third and final cricket Test.

    Opening batsman Hafeez dug in well for nearly four hours on a slow and low bouncy wicket to remain unbeaten on 57 off 135 balls with Pakistan progressing to 130 for two in its second innings for an overall lead of 174 at stumps on day three.

    Mohammad Yousuf survived a tense 12 minutes and was batting on 1 when bad light stopped play 15 overs before the scheduled close.

    Yousuf needs 46 more runs to break Viv Richards's world record of 1,710 runs in a calendar year.

    Earlier, wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin guided the West Indies to 260 in its first innings with a gritty half century and narrowed the Pakistan lead to 44.

    Chance lost

    Hafeez put on 43 in a quiet opening stand with Imran Farhat (20) and added 79 with Younis Khan, who was trapped lbw by Chris Gayle for 38.

    The West Indies had its chance to spoil Younis's 29th birthday, but Dwayne Bravo dropped a sharp return catch when the Pakistan vice-captain was on 10.

    The West Indies pace attack kept the Pakistan opening pair quiet in the post tea session before Daren Powell found the edge of Farhat's bat in the 23rd over as the home team crawled to 61 for one at tea.

    Earlier, the West Indies was in danger of conceding a big lead and slipped to 216 for nine, but Ramdin and Corey Collymore (8 not out) thwarted Pakistan for an hour before the tourists were bowled out in the last over before lunch.

    Pakistan made 304 in its first innings and Ramdin helped the West Indies to narrow the lead on a docile wicket where batting seems to be a difficult proposition with the ball keeping low. Ramdin struck seven boundaries in his fourth Test half century that came off 95 balls and added 44 runs for the last wicket with Collymore before he was run out attempting a second run.

    Sloppy fielding

    Some sloppy Pakistan fielding also helped the West Indies, with wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal twice failing to grab opportunities behind the wickets. Akmal dropped Ramdin on 4 when the ball went through his legs off leg-spinner Danish Kaneria and then grassed a diving catch off a big edge from Daren Powell.

    Resuming at 191 for six, the West Indies lost Daren Ganga (81) as he chased Abdul Razzaq's wide delivery and got a thin edge in the fifth over of the day. Ganga held the West Indies innings together and faced 221 balls in his patient five-and-a-half hour innings, which contained nine 4s.

    Paceman Umar Gul and Shahid Nazir struck with the second new ball and removed Powell and Jerome Taylor cheaply as the West Indies stuttered to 216 for nine before Ramdin and Collymore dug in.

    Gul, who rattled the West Indies top order with the key wickets of Chris Gayle, Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan in the space of 10 deliveries without conceding a run, was the most successful Pakistan bowler with four for 79 while Danish Kaneria chipped in with three wickets for 62.

    Pakistan leads the three-match series 1-0. AP

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