OTHERS

West Indian batsmen struggle

GEORGETOWN, MAY 7. The first Test between the West Indies and Pakistan was evenly balanced at the close of the second day with the home side 101 for three in reply to the touring side's first innings total of 288.

Captain Jimmy Adams was unbeaten on 16 and Shivnarine Chanderpaul not out on nine when bad light stopped play, with seven overs left to be bowled.

West Indies suffered an early setback when opening batsman Sherwin Campbell was caught low down at third slip left- handed by Younis Khan off Wasim Akram just prior to tea for one.

After rolling to 28 for one at the break, left-handers Adrian Griffith and Wavel Hinds continued to bat positively and completed a 67-run second-wicket stand.

Both batsmen played freely with Griffith striking four boundaries and Hinds five in their knocks. Fast-medium bowler Abdur Razzaq and leg-spin bowler Mushtaq Ahmed captured their wickets respectively. Opener Griffith batted for about two hours and faced 61 balls for 34 before he played across a well-pitched, full-length delivery from Abdur to be adjudged leg before.

Mushtaq, whose bowling has been a puzzle to Hinds, deceived the batsman with a well-flighted ball and had him stumped by wicketkeeper Moin Khan, the Pakistan captain, after he failed to hold his balance when essaying a lofted off-drive. His 34 off 99 balls lasted a shade under two hours.

Adams and Chanderpaul, two of the three West Indies specialist batsmen with more than 20 Tests, batted 45 minutes through to the close to offer their team a ray of hope for a substantial total.

For the last half-hour, they had to contend with spin twins, Mushtaq and off-spin bowler Saqlain Mushtaq, along with the Pakistanis' excessively annoying appeals for various forms of dismissals.

Earlier, Pakistan, overnight 221 for five, was tied down by purposeful bowling from West Indies and lost its last five wickets for 43.

West Indies broke the sixth-wicket partnership between Inzamam-ul-Haq and Razzaq after 80 minutes in the morning period, but had it accepted the chances and half-chances offered by the Pakistani batsmen, the complexion of the match might have been different.

Fast bowler Reon King captured the prized wicket of century-maker Inzamam with the first ball of his first spell of the day, but West Indies allowed Pakistan to reach 262 for six at lunch. Inzamam and Razzaq had batted through from 50 minutes prior to lunch on the opening day until the close to lift Pakistan's innings from the tatters of 39 for five to 221 for five.

They got firmly rooted in their work when play commenced on Saturday and were encroaching on Pakistan's sixth- wicket partnership record of 216 set by Hanif Mohammed and Majid Khan against New Zealand at Lahore in the 1964-65 series.

West Indies, however, had to wait about eight overs to bislodge Inzamam after he had batted for close to seven hours to add 206 with Razzaq. Failing to properly negotiate his full- length 254th ball, he was struck coming forward by king.

Inzamam struck 20 boundaries in his third century against West Indies to take his tally of runs in seven Tests against it to 580 at a healthy average of 72.50.

When he departed, Pakistan had added only 24 runs in just over an hour to its bedtime score, and Razzaq only seven to his first day 80. Such was the restraint West Indies had placed upon the opposition batting.

After lunch, Pakistan lost its last four wickets for 26 runs to be dismissed about 45 minutes prior to the tea break.

- AFP