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18-22 May 2000 (Col (Retd) Rafi Nasim)

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Day 1: Pakistan score a respectable 253 despite a disastrous start

The Guyana test having been abandoned on account of torrential rain only after three days of play, the test series between the two great sides were reduced to a two-match contest. The Barbados test started with Pakistan batting first against the deadly attack of Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh. Like the Guyana test Pakistan made a disastrous start by losing 5 players, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Wasim, Younis Khan, Abdur Razzaq, and Inzamam-ul-Haq for only 37 runs on the board.

Yousuf Youhana and skipper Moin Khan however held the crease with immense confidence. Scoring runs at a reasonable pace, they once stole 19 runs off one over from Mclean. Though Pakistan was in real crisis, they held the innings together.

By lunchtime, Pakistan had recovered to 90 for 5, the two batsmen had brought a semblance of stability to the Pakistan innings after the side had faced a heartbreaking collapse. The moment of joy came when Yousuf Youhana pushed Ambrose to mid on for 3, to hoist 100 of the Pakistan innings. Having changed over form attacking to a defensive posture, Moin Khan snicked a ball from Walsh into the safe hands of Chanderpaul in the slips after playing a fighting knock of 38. A useful wicket was lost with Pakistan at 110 for 6. The partnership between Yousuf Youhana and Moin Khan had yielded 73 very precious runs.

Wasim Akram joined Yousuf Youhana, the star batsman of the day and accounted for the second good partnership of the innings. By tea time both the players took Pakistan's score to 162 for 6 with Youhana (66) and Wasim Akram (33) valiantly holding the crease.

The West Indies got a lucky break after tea when Wasim Akram was bowled by Ambrose after scoring 42 invaluable runs. His partnership with Youhana yielded 69 extremely useful runs. Pakistan was now 179 for 7. His departure caused a big loss to Pakistan. All hopes fully rested on Yousuf Youhana. Saqlain Mushtaq joined Youhana and both the players adopted a no risk policy. Youhana in quest of a century was over cautious in his stroke play, while Saqlain provided him a solid stand. For a team struggling to steer through a crisis, this was perhaps the right approach.

A great moment of rejoicing came when Yousuf Youhana completed his prolific 100 in 206 deliveries hitting 13 boundaries. Scoring a century under such a insurmountable pressure was a Herculean task. With Saqlain getting out, Pakistan was 220 for 8. Youhana having taken the charge of piling up runs, Waqar Younis followed by Mushtaq Ahmed gave him stand. In the process they had taken Pakistan's score to 253 when Youhana was out after playing a marvelous innings of 115. It was the end of Pakistan's innings. With a magnificent haul of 5 wicket Courtney Walsh was the star bowler of the day.

The West Indies opened the innings with Sherwin Campbell and Adrian Griffith against the Pakistan attack of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. The play ended with the West Indies at 2 for no loss.

Day 2: Wevell Hinds the West Indies hero

After playing only two overs on the first day, the West Indies resumed the innings facing Pakistan's 253 runs. The pitch was described as very good for batting, it did prove so. Though the West Indies lost their first wicket when the opener Adrian Griffith was out when the score board showed only 11 runs, they dominated all through the pre-lunch session.

Sherwin Campbell and Wavell Hinds remained in full command of the game. In a punishing mood, they treated all types of bowling with contempt, hitting fours and even sixes at their pleasure. The first 13 over brought 50 of the innings. The two players entertained the crowd in the manner of a one-day game, scoring their individual 50s in attacking manner. Their command on the game was such that they made, an otherwise efficient Pakistan bowling look ordinary.

The Pakistan skipper applied all the tricks and used all the bowling combinations to dislodge the pair but failed to do so. Scoring runs with emaculate ease, the pair took the West Indies score to 113 for 1 by lunch. Campbell (54) and Hinds (51) were holding the crease with authority.

Even after lunch, the two batsmen maintained their tempo of scoring runs, taking the total to 144 when all of a sudden, Pakistan achieved the second lucky break. Sherwin Campbell having played an attacking innings of 58, snicked a ball from Saqlain Mushtaq that rolled on to the stumps. The West Indies thus lost the 2nd wicket at 144.

An interesting incident took place when Jimmy Adams snicked a ball from Saqlain and was caught by Younis Khan in the slips. He stayed at the crease indicating that he did not click the ball. The umpire, however, declared him out. That brought the West Indies to 213 for 4.

Young Rammaresh Sarwan, playing in his debut test came in and gave a very bold stand to Hinds. Playing a safe and steady game they continued piling up runs. Their objective appeared to be to see the day through by keeping their wickets intact. In the process Hinds crossed his 150, Sarwan was dropped in the slips by Inzamam-ul-Haq and the West Indies surpassed Pakistan's total of 253 runs in the 77th over.

At the score at 273, Waqar Younis took the second ball, aiming at breaking the partnership. He was quite successful in his strategy, when he claimed the prized wicket of Wavell Hinds after he had played a masterly innings of 165. With the West Indies at 282 for 5, the play was called off for the day.

Day 3: Pakistan clears the lead without losing a wicket

The West Indies resumed the innings at 283 for 5 with a lead of 30 runs over Pakistan's total of 253. Ramnaresh Sarwan (28) and Curtly Ambrose (0) were the overnight not out batsmen. Pakistan's regular pair of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis launched the bowling attack with the 2nd new ball taken just before the end of play on Friday. Pakistan bowlers needed to dominate to prevent a sizable lead., because a lead of more then a 100 runs could be troublesome for Pakistan.

During the pre-lunch session, the West Indies batting was slow and steady bringing only 62 runs in two hours of game. Pakistan achieved its first break of the day when Curtly Ambrose was caught in the slips for 22, providing Wasim Akram with his first wicket of the match. The West Indies were 321 for 6. They lost the 7th wicket at 338 and the 8th at 339.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, playing in his debut test held the crease with immense confidence. Playing an absolutely safe and steady game he scored his 50 in 137 balls. He was batting at 55 with the West Indies 345 for 8 at lunch.

After Wavell Hinds century, Sarwan was the center of attraction. Not only that he was keeping the score board moving, at one stage he unleashed himself to hit all over the field. After the fall of 9 wickets for 362 runs, he found an aggressive partner in Courtney Walsh. Playing highly enterprising cricket, the two of them took West Indies total to 398 when Walsh was out. While Walsh contributed 22 useful runs, Sarwan played a marvelous innings of 84 not out. With a magnificent haul of 5 wickets Saqlain Mushtaq was the bowling hero for Pakistan.

Pakistan's fielding in the match remained extremely poor. They had dropped atleast half a dozen vital catches. The West Indies lead of 145 runs appeared quite sizable especially in view of the brittleness shown by Pakistan's batting.

Facing a deficit of 145 runs, Pakistan opened the 2nd innings with the young pair of openers, Imran Nazir and Mohammad Wasim. It was a lucky occasion for Pakistan that the long desired opening partnership that eluded Pakistan came through. The two batsmen displayed the ability, the confidence and the determination to stay at the wicket never seen before. Apart from holding the ground they punished the West Indies bowlers well and proper.

To come out of the deluge of the two miserable collapses, 5 for 39 at Guyana and 5 for 37 in the first innings of this test, a big opening stand was badly needed. The two youngsters provided it. The West Indies skipper tried all the combinations to achieve a break through but did not succeeded. It was in the 25th over that the two highly talented openers hoisted Pakistan's 100 of the innings.

Having not enjoyed such a splendid partnership during the series, it was a moment of rejoicing for Pakistan. While the West Indies efforts to achieve a break through continued, the two players rose in stature after every run.

Advancing towards the Herculean task of wiping out the deficit of 145 runs followed by putting Pakistan on the path of a fighting total, Imran Nazir and Mohammad Wasim were fully in command. With Pakistan's total at 145 for no loss in the 35th over, they had repaid the West Indies debt. From have, Pakistan started its innings on the credit card.

The day's play ended with Pakistan at 152 for no loss. The gladiators who brought Pakistan to this position, Imran Nazir (94) and Mohammad Wasim (53) were holding the crease with full confidence of putting Pakistan on the path of a fighting score for the match.

Day 4: Pakistan takes a moderate lead

Pakistan resumed the innings at 153 for no loss with Imran Nazir (93) and Mohammad Wasim (53) at the crease. Having wiped off the 145 runs deficit the previous day, every one in the Pakistan camp looked in a joyful mood. Anxiety, however prevailed, to see Imran Nazir complete his century. He ended the suspense by driving Walsh to the point boundary for a four to hoist his hundred of the innings. Scoring a century under tremendous pressure was a great achievement on the part of a youngster, especially against a top class bowling attack.

After the completion of his century Imran changed his steady posture to an offensive one. He punished almost every bowler, smashing fours in all directions. Mohammad Wasim at the other end was relatively defensive. Continuing to keep the score moving, the two batsmen raised Pakistan to 200, Imran Nazir batting with 121 and Wasim with 74 at the stage.

Shortly after came the occasion to celebrate for the West Indies when in the 57th over Wasim was LBW on a Reon King delivery after playing a masterly innings of 82 runs. Pakistan lost the first wicket at 219. King who was in full cry claimed his second victim when Imran Nazir was caught by Adams after scoring a fabulous innings of 131 runs. Apart from acting as the sheet anchor for Pakistan, Imran was also the master blaster, having scored his runs in 180 balls. Pakistan was 232 for 2.

Pakistan lost the 3rd wicket when Younis Khan was also caught by Adams off King for a well scored 23. Pakistan was now reduced to 248 for 3. With three wickets down in quick succession, Pakistan needed to change its strategy. They were now required to be more steady than aggressive. The lunch was taken when Pakistan was at 253 for 3. Reon King was the most successful bowler so far.

Playing steadily, the two players took the score to 294 when Inzamam-ul-Haq was caught and bowled by Walsh for 29. He was immediately followed by Youhana caught by Adams off Mclean for 5. Having lost 5 wickets for 294, Pakistan appeared in real crisis. A lead of 150 runs achieved so far was certainly not enough to fight the battle against a strong West Indies outfit. Pakistan's 300 came in the 94th over.

New ball was taken after 95 overs but it did not work well for the West Indies. The score opened up when Abdur Razzaq punished Ambrose and Mclean for four smashing hits to the boundary. In 100 overs Pakistan was 329 for 5 with Razzaq (26) and Moin Khan (7) playing a defiant innings.

After a short but exciting run scoring spree, the batsmen fell into the groove again. Trying to be over defensive, Moin Khan was bowled by Adams, after a patiently scored 14 reducing Pakistan to 341 for 6. Wasim Akram was the next to go at the same score. Pakistan had lost the 7th wicket, following a damaging strategy of holding the crease but not scoring runs. Not trying their shots, they were trapped by the West Indies like sitting ducks. In 10 overs, Pakistan scored 2 runs losing 2 wickets in the bargain. The play was called off on account of bad light, when Pakistan was at 345 for 7, enjoying a moderate lead of 200 runs. Abdur Razzaq was holding the crease valiantly with 32 not out.

If Pakistan could bat till lunch tomorrow and add another 50 odd runs to the lead, the match would enter a very exciting stage.

Day 5: A draw was the inevitable conclusion
22 May 2000 (Colin E. Croft)

Lunch Interval:

The first boundary this final morning only came after about an hour's play, in the 15th over, but Pakistan have survived well, enlarging their 2nd innings total to 407-7, an overall lead of 262.

Overnight batsmen Abdur Razzaq, using a runner due to a pulled thigh muscle, has moved on to his 2nd half century of this series; 68 not out, including nine 4's, a very important innings in the context of this game. His partner, Saqlain Mustaq has been resolute for his 26 not out, and the pair has added 66 so far for the 8th wicket.

The 2nd new ball had been taken on the 4th afternoon, so now with about 25 overs to yet another new ball, the West Indies might be missing a genuine spinner, someone who turns the ball much, to help dislodge the last three Pakistani batsmen.

The West Indies started this morning with fast bowlers Curtly Ambrose and Reon King, but the Pakistan batsmen have continued to look organized on this good batting pitch. Jimmy Adams has bowled today too, as has Courtney Walsh, while Nixon McLean has not yet been used today.

With two hours already gone today, this game has moved again into Pakistan's favor. It is almost a good conclusion that they now have a sufficiently good total to declare during the luncheon interval. That would then set up an intriguing afternoon, with the West Indies allowed about 4 and a half hours toget at least 263 to win. That declaration is not yet certain, though. At lunch on the final day of this 2nd Test, Pakistan are 407-7, an overall lead of 262.

Tea Interval:

Pakistan's veteran fast bowlers Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis have given their team a great start in the 2nd innings after Pakistan set the West Indies 275 to win this game.

At tea, the West Indies are wobbling a bit on 58-3 and now, there can only be one winner. It will not be the West Indies.

The batsman out are Adrian Griffith, LBW while playing across a Waqar delivery, for 05;Sherwin Campbell who was caught at gully, by Shahid Afridi, off Wasim's bowling for 08, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who was caught at short-leg by Mohammad Wasim from Mustaq Ahmed's bowling.

1st innings centurion Wavell Hinds is 14 not out, while being guided by captain Jimmy Adams, who is 11 not out.

Not surprisingly, Pakistan prolonged their innings after lunch, with Abdur Razzaq, who is injured and will probably not bowl in this 2nd innings, eventually making 72. After Saqlain was out for 33, Pakistan then declared at 419-9, an overall lead of 274.

The best West Indian bowler was Reon King, who finished with 4-82 from 29 overs, while West Indian veteran Courtney Walsh had another to bring his Test tally to 443.

Set to score 275 from a possible 60 overs to win this game and go 1-0 up in the series, a tough ask but with a good afternoon's cricket in prospect, the West Indies are 58-3 at tea.

Final Session:

In the end, the effort for a positive outcome was just beyond both teams, as this wonderful batting pitch at the Kensigton Oval had the final say.

After 10 overs of the mandatory 15 in the last hour had been completed, both captains, on the field at the end, decided that enough was enough, with the West Indies 132-4.

Captain Jimmy Adams was 34 not out, guiding his team to safety, while Test newcomer Ramnaresh Sarwan played comfortably to be 11 not out.

Pakistan would probably be rueing their late declaration, which surprisingly came only after lunch. Perhaps the required 275 was just too much for the West Indies, while 57 overs were too few for the Pakistanis.

Despite every effort by off-spinner Saqlain Mustaq and leg-spinner Mustaq Ahmed, Adams should be well pleased with his and Wavell Hinds' efforts after the West Indies had slumped to 41-3 in mid-afternoon.

The pair then put on 72 before Hinds slashed at Mustaq, only to be caught by wicket-keeper Moin Khan for 52. Nevertheless, with his 165 in the 1st innings, Hinds was easily the "Man of the Match".

At the end, a draw was the inevitable conclusion.

It is now on to Antigua with the teams deadlocked at 0-0.