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25-29 May 2000 (Col (Retd) Rafi Nasim)

Day1 | Day2 | Day3 | Day4 | Day5

Day 1:Youhana leads the way for Pakistan

The 3rd and final test of the series commenced at the Antigua Recreation ground with Pakistan batting first. The pitch had a fair amount of dry grass with no moisture and was likely to be inconsistent in its behavior. While Pakistan made no change in the side that played at Barbados, the West Indies made one, Franklyn Rose replacing Nixon Mclean.

Pakistan did not have a brilliant start. The batsmen were restricted by an excellent line and length maintained by |Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh. The runs were hard to come by. The West Indies achieved the break through when Imran Nazir (10) was out with Pakistan at 21. With Younis Khan also returned to the pavilion immediately after, Pakistan was 27 for 2. Both the wickets were grabbed by Ambrose. Pakistan lost its 3rd wicket at 33 when Mohammad Wasim gave a return catch to Franklyn Rose after scoring only (13) runs. Uptil now the batsmen were following a "well left" policy only playing the balls that directly came on to the bat.

With Inzamam-ul-Haq, the giant killer and Yousuf Youhana, a centurion of the Barbados test at the crease, all the hopes for a formidable total were pinned on them. True to expectations the two batsmen played a valiant innings with absolute dedication. They had recorded a partnership of 97 runs when Inzamam-ul-Haq was caught in the gully off Walsh after playing an invaluable innings of 55 runs. Pakistan was 130 for 4, Abdur Razzaq came and was out immediately reducing Pakistan to 132 for 5.

The advantage gained by a highly useful partnership between Inzamam-ul-Haq and Youhana had provided respectability to the Pakistan innings. Skipper Moin Khan came in at the moment of crisis with a hope of stemming the rot. With Youhana (40) in full command of the game, Pakistan had a good hope of revival.

In 55 overs, Pakistan was 150 for 5, Youhana having completed his individual 50. Though Youhana went into a groove playing cautiously, Moin Khan brought thrill into the game by hitting some exciting boundaries off Walsh and Adams. He however succumbed to an outside edge into hands of Jacobs off Reon King after scoring a useful 24 bringing Pakistan down to 173 for 6.

Wasim Akram was the next player to add some trill into the game by playing some exciting shots. He was out after playing a quick fire innings of 26 rendering Pakistan to 209 for 7.

Youhana who was in full command of the game had taken his score to 75 when Pakistan was at 230. He needed some one to give him the stand. Saqlain Mushtaq played an excellent role in holding the crease and to provide his senior partner the opportunity to score runs for the team as well as to close up with his own century. In the process Saqlain was out after scoring only 4 runs in 44 balls, bringing Pakistan down to 248 for 8.

Waqar Younis came in and played a similar role. The first day's play ended with Pakistan at 267 for 3 with Youhana batting at a prolific 102 and Waqar Younis at 4.

It was a day of ups and downs and at the end Pakistan appeared to have done remarkably well on a difficult pitch and tight cum well balanced bowling by the West Indies. With a heroic 102 not out Yousuf Youhana undoubtedly emerged as hero of the day.

Day 2:Windies give Pakistan a befitting reply.

Pakistan resumed the innings with the overnight score of 267 for 8 but packed up in the first over by Courtney Walsh with the addition of only 2 runs. Pakistan was thus all out for 269.

The West Indies commenced its innings with the regular openers Sherwin Campbell and Adrian Griffith, against the bowling attack of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. While Campbell played with immense confidence hitting all over the field and scoring 24 runs in 29 balls, Griffith was rather too docile having scored only one run in 19 balls.

The Pakistani pace bowlers not having made an impact, leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed was brought in the 13th over. He met with immediate success by getting Sherwin Campbell out for a briskly scored 31. Wavell Hinds came into bat. With the departure of Campbell, the rate of scoring dropped considerably. At lunch the West Indies were 60 for 1 in 20 overs. It was a slow start for the West Indies considering the perfect wicket and not a very penetrating bowling attack.

Pakistan achieved the second success when on a deceptive googlie Mushtaq Ahmed bowled Griffith for a defensively scored 22, bringing down the West Indies to 73 for 2. Pakistan met with another immediate success when Wavell Hinds was run-out for 26 rendering the West Indies to 84 for 3.

Skipper Jimmy Adams joined Campbell who was somehow not feeling comfortable especially against the guile of Mushtaq Ahmed. With Saqlain Mushtaq having joined Mushtaq Ahmed it was again an all spin attack. The two spinners kept the batsmen under tremendous pressure, restricting considerably the rate of scoring. There were times when the batsmen looked struggling for runs. At tea the West Indies were 122 for 3 scored in 50 overs.

The partnership between Chanderpaul and Adams having yielded 50 runs, it was now a matter of anxiety for Pakistan. Although the spin bowlers were putting in their best, the batsmen appeared well set for a long partnership. After a spell of docile batting, they were now on a run spree. The run rate improved so much that 10 overs after tea yielded 37 runs, taking the West Indies total to 163 for 3. As the score reached 175 for 3, the play was suspended on account of a light shower.

Just as the rain stopped the play was resumed. The two batsmen continued piling up runs, through singles and twos. With the West Indies at 184 for 3, Chanderpaul (52) and Adams (47) registered a 100 runs partnership. The 200 of the West Indies innings came in 76 overs.

With West Indies at 210 for 3, Wasim Akram took the second new ball. As the West Indies reached 214 for 3, the play was called off on account of bad light. Chanderpaul (68) and Adams (60) were at the crease. With 2 wickets for 68 runs, Mushtaq Ahmed was the only successful bowler.

Day 3 :An exciting finish in store

The play commenced with the West Indies batting at the overnight score of 214 for 3. The start was not promising because they lost Jimmy Adams at a score of 218. With Ramnaresh Sarwan having come in they maintained a very steady posture. Only 9 runs came of the first 9 overs.

Similarly the 13 overs bowled during first hour's play yielded only 20 runs. Pakistan got its second lucky break when Sarwan was LBW off Wasim Akram for 10. The West Indies lost their 5th wicket at 235.

Though the West Indies were playing a defensive game with a view to prolong the innings, Wasim Akram was in full cry. Ridley Jacob was his second victim, with the West Indies at 243 for6. Wasim Akram caused the biggest damage when he clean bowled Chanderpaul, after he had played a gorgeous innings of 89. It reduced the West Indies to 253 for 7. The rest of the batsmen were skittled out one by one with the West Indies innings wrapped up for 273. They had taken a lead of 4 runs over Pakistan. The session, however, belonged to Wasim Akram, who got a magnificent haul of 6 for 60. He had ousted 5 of his victims within a span of 22 balls.

Pakistan commenced its 2nd innings with a deficit of only 4 runs. The start was however, miserable because it lost 2 quick wickets. Imran Nazir was out at 0, while Younis Khan made his exit with Pakistan having only 3 runs on the board. Mohammad Wasim and Inzamam-ul-Haq were holding the crease with confidence and collecting runs at a steady pace.

Having suffered a two wickets collapse earlier, it was important for this pair to build up a big partnership to provided a solid foundation to the Pakistan innings. With this aim in mind the two of them were playing a safe and steady innings. They had taken the score to 49 when Pakistan met the 3rd tragedy. After playing a highly valuable innings of 21, Mohammad Wasim "well left" an in-swinger from Reon King and was bowled, bringing Pakistan down to 49 for 3.

There came a solid partnership between Inzamam and Youhana. Both of them, not only held the crease with immense confidence but also continued piling up runs. While Inzamam was on the rampage hitting all over the field, Youhana was playing a defensive game.

Pakistan was 79 for 3 in 30 overs while 100 of the innings came in 40 overs. The two batsmen were well set for a big score, when after a hectic effort the West Indies succeeded in capturing the prized wicket of Inzamam-ul-Haq. He was caught behind off Franklyn Rose after playing a tenacious innings of 68. Pakistan was down to 129 for 4.

Inzamam-ul-Haq's departure raised many eyebrows. Many observers of the game felt that he had not played the ball. Moin Khan joined Youhana at the crease but was out after scoring 10 runs reducing Pakistan to 150 for 5. The play was called off for the day with Pakistan at 157 for 5. Youhana (41) and Saqlain (2) were playing.

Day 4:Pakistan keep their foot in the door

Pakistan resumed the 2nd innings with the overnight score of 157 for 5, Yousuf Youhana batting at 41 being the mainstay of the innings. The observers of the game felt that a total between 220-250 would make a match of it. Considering the same both Youhana and Saqlain played defensively but not missing the runs that came their way.

The West Indies, however, succeeded in achieving a quick break through when Youhana was adjudged LBW off Reon King after playing a defiant innings of 42. Pakistan lost the 6th wicket at 162. Half fit Abdur Razzaq came in and was run out immediately after on account of his own folly. It was a case of poor calling between him and Saqlain, on a single that they should not have attempted. It brought Pakistan down to 7 for 167.

With Pakistan at 185 for 7 in 80 overs, Curtly Ambrose took the second new ball that did the trick. Saqlain snicked Ambrose and was caught in the slips after playing a short but defiant knock of 15 runs. The 200 of the Pakistan innings came in the 85th over when Waqar Younis pulled a no ball from Ambrose to mid wicket boundary.

Pakistan lost the 9th wicket in the last over before lunch when Waqar Younis was caught in the slips by Adams off Ambrose for a valuable 16. Pakistan was now at 213 for 9, a lead of 209 runs with one wicket in hand.

Resuming after lunch it did not take long for the West Indies to claim the remaining one wicket to end the Pakistan's innings. The 10th wicket came down when Wasim Akram played a full-blooded shot to square leg and was brilliantly caught by Adams off King. Pakistan was all out for 219, giving the West Indies a fighting target of 216 runs. Reon King having claimed 4 wickets and Curtly Ambrose 3, were the most successful bowlers.

The West Indies commenced the 2nd innings with victory target of 216 runs. Surprisingly, rather than trying to graft the innings, the openers, especially Adrian Griffith was rather two aggressive, trying to smash every delivery to the boundary line.

Pakistan got the first break through when Sherwin Campbell was out with the West Indies score at 16.

Griffith who was displaying extra ordinary aggression was the next to go when in an effort to hook Wasim Akram, he was caught by Waqar Younis at fine leg for 23, reducing the West Indies to 31 for 2. The pair of Wavell Hinds and Chanderpaul played with immense confidence, exercising a mixture of offence and defence. By hitting all over the ground they took the West Indies score to 62 for 2 when rain stopped play.

As the game resumed after tea, Pakistan achieved its 3rd lucky break when Chanderpaul was LBW to Razzaq after playing a brilliant innings of 31, rendering the West Indies to 84 for 3.

Jimmy Adams joined Hinds on the crease and acted like more of a spectator. By scoring only 8 runs in 56 balls, he had perhaps decided to give a solid stand to Wavell Hinds. In contrast Hinds was on the rampage scoring runs freely. Punishing almost every bowler he completed an enterprising 50, at the same time raising the West Indies score to 123 for 3.

Hinds got a life when at 58 he was dropped by Mohammad Wasim in the slips off Wasim Akram. As the luck would have it he could not stay any longer. A little later while trying to hook a rising delivery from Wasim Akram he dragged the ball on to the stumps and was out after playing a prolific innings of 63. The West Indies lost the 4th wicket at 144.

With the West Indies still needing 72 runs to win the match with 6 wickets in hand, the play was called of for the day.

Day5: West Indies win a thriller

The 3rd and the final test resumed at St John's with exciting prospects for the two sides. The West Indies needing 72 runs to win with 6 wickets in hand were in a relatively happy position. They had full 90 overs of the day to get these runs. Pakistan's hopes only rested on a very tight and accurate bowling - fielding combination.

Both the sides had their respective stakes. While Pakistan aspired to achieve the honor of gaining a test series victory on the Caribbean soil, the West Indies would fight their heart out to prevent the same.

The West Indies resumed their innings at he overnight score of 144 for 4 with full determination to win. While they had every thing in their favour, Pakistan only needed a miracle. Pakistan however, got the lucky break when Sarwan was out bringing down the West Indies to 161 for 5.

Jimmy Adams was playing the captains inning holding his ground with immense confidence against all the pressure exerted by the Pakistan bowlers. The wickets kept falling from the other end. After Sarwan, Jacobs went at 169, Rose at 177 and Ambrose at 194. The West Indies lost 8 wickets for 194 and were as close to the victory target as 22 runs with 2 wickets in hand.

It was a great effort on the part of Pakistan's bowlers to clinch 4 important wickets in the morning session. At lunch the match was evenly poised. Depending on luck it could be any body's game. Jimmy Adams was the stumbling block in Pakistan's way and he proved it so tell the end.

Reon King was the next player to go at the West Indies score of 197 for 9. Then came the historical and the most breath taking 19 runs last wicket partnership between Jimmy Adams and Courtney Walsh, that became instrumental in the West Indies victory.

With utmost patience Adams faced most of the bowling giving his partner only the in-escapable chance to face the Pakistan bowlers in full cry. By collecting slow and steady single, the two of them took the West Indies to 216, thus defeating Pakistan by one wicket.

This was one of the most exciting test matches in the history of cricket. Jimmy Adams with a defiant 48 not out was the architect of West Indies victory. With 11 wickets for 110 runs, Wasim Akram proved that he was a top bowler of the world. The Pakistan team, however, deserves the credit for showing fighting spirit of the highest order.