Chanderpaul, McLean keep West Indies' hopes alive

GEORGETOWN, MAY 8. The West Indies left-handers Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Nixon McLean put on a record 74-run stand for the seventh wicket to lead a spirited home team reply to Pakistan in a shortened third day of the teams' opening five-day cricket Test in Guyana here.

McLean hit a career-best 46 and Chanderpaul ended unbeaten on 46 as the home team, resuming at 101 for three, reached 222 for seven at close on Sunday.

Only 44 overs were possible in the day, which began three hours late because of morning rain and was cut short because of bad light.

Pakistan, led by Inzamam-ul-Haq's 135 and Abdur Razzaq's Test best of 87, was bowled out for 288 on Saturday.

The West Indies was quickly undermined by leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed when play began late after an intensive mopping up job by the groundsmen.

Captain Jimmy Adams added a boundary to his overnight 16 before he fell in Mushtaq's first over. The 32-year-old Jamaican prodded forward and edged to first slip where Younis Khan swooped low to pouch the catch. Adams batted 82 minutes, faced 51 balls and struck two boundaries.

Chris Gayle, tall and powerful, lashed three fours and was in a positive mood before Mushtaq outfoxed him. The 20-year- old tried to lift the wily spinner over the top and skied a catch to an elated Wasim Akram at mid-on. Gayle was in for half an hour and faced 27 balls for his 13.

Akram himself bowled impressively throughout the day, consistently beating the bat with each way swing. But the veteran left-arm pacer could not add to his one wicket from Saturday.

Instead, it was a mix-up between Chanderpaul and wicketkeeper batsman Ridley Jacobs that caused the third dismissal in the first hour.

Jacobs was left stranded as his partner was late in sending him back, with bowler Mushtaq Ahmed converting Wajahatullah Wasti's throw from short third man into an easy run out.

Pakistan was now well on top as the home team slipped to 139 for six. But Chanderpaul, in front of his home crowd, found a sound ally in fast bowler McLean.

The pair carried the home team safely to 174 for six at tea. After the interval, they pushed past Clive Lloyd and Joel Garner's 70-run partnership in Bridgetown, Barbados in 1977, which had stood as a record for the West Indies against Pakistan.

But just as McLean was in sight of his maiden Test half century, Waqar Younis struck with the fifth delivery with the second new ball.

The 26-year-old McLean, in his first Test in more than a year, edged a full length delivery to first slip where Inzamam grasped a low catch.

McLean, who batted for little more than two hours, struck nine boundaries in his 95-ball innings, including three strong blows in one over off Mushtaq Ahmed that took him from 29 to 41.

Veteran fast bowler Curtly Ambrose replaced McLean and stayed with his diminutive partner until the end, to be not out on two. - AP

Mushtaq Ahmed removes the bails to run out Ridley Jacobs on the third day of the first Test between West Indies and Pakistan on Sunday. Wasim Akram rushes in to celebrate the dismissal.

- AP