Windies tumble after tea
BASSETERRE, St Kitts, May 21, CMC – Marlon Samuels hit a half-century in his first Test innings in three years but West Indies were left facing a tall order after yet again falling prey to Pakistan’s spinners on the second day of the second Test here today.
The right-hander hammered a typically fluent 57 as West Indies, replying to Pakistan’s 272 all out, finished the day at Warner Park on a precarious 184 for eight, still 88 runs behind.
Not for the first time in the series, West Indies batsmen were at sixes and sevens against the visitors’ spin attack with off-spinners Mohammad Hafeez (2-16) and Saeed Ajmal (2-49), along with left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman (2-46), doing the bulk of the damage.
Only Samuels, Darren Bravo (24) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (20) made it into the 20s as West Indies were made to work hard for runs on a pitch that assisted the slower bowlers.
Earlier, West Indies were frustrated by Tanvir Ahmed’s maiden Test half-century before finally dismissing Pakistan on the stroke of lunch, after the tourists resumed the day on 180 for six.
West Indies got quick wickets in the morning session to reduce the Pakistanis to 194 for nine but Tanvir cracked a breezy 57 to dominate a crucial last-wicket partnership of 78 with Ajmal (23 not out), and add precious runs.
Tanvir faced 96 balls and struck 10 fours, benefitting from loose bowling and overly defensive tactics while Ajmal supported well with one four and a top-edged six to third man in facing 79 balls.
It took a straight delivery from leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo (3-80) to account for Tanvir lbw on the backfoot.
Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul finished with three for 68 while captain Darren Sammy chipped in with two for 70 with his medium pace.
West Indies’ reply started disastrously when in-form opener Lendl Simmons fell without scoring, edging a big drive off the second ball of the innings from seamer Tanvir , to be caught at second slip by Taufeeq Umar.
Debutant opener Kraigg Brathwaite never settled and after he reached 15, also edged a drive at a wide ball from left-armer Wahab Riaz to Taufeeq, with the score on 22 for two.
Right-hander Ramnaresh Sarwan counter-attacked, twice pulling Wahab for boundaries and punching the left-armer through cover for another four, in an over that cost 14 runs.
Smart work from wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman saw him eventually stumped off Ajmal as Windies dipped to 54 for three.
It paved the way for Samuels, appearing in a Test for the first time following a two-year ban for inappropriate ties to a bookmaker, to perform a much-needed rescue mission.
The 30-year-old, dropped by captain Misbah-ul-Haq on 17 off Abdur Rehman, struck seven sweetly timed fours and two audacious sixes, and anchored two partnerships that kept West Indies afloat.
He put on 40 for the fourth wicket with Bravo who laboured 87 balls and over an hour-and-a-half before edging one that bounced and turned to Asad Shafiq at second slip, off Hafeez on the stroke of tea at 94 for four.
Vice-captain Brendan Nash and Carlton Baugh both perished for six in the space of 17 balls as West Indies crashed to 107 for six 20 minutes after tea, but Samuels added another 37 with Sammy (16) to temporarily halt the side of wickets.
After a circumspect start against the spinners, Samuels blossomed to play several expansive strokes – once lifting Abdur Rehman over long-on for the maximum and then playing a majestic drive over cover for another six off Ajmal.
He lost Sammy to a brilliant catch at long-off by Umar Akmal and he then followed attempting to up the tempo, also superbly caught by Taufeeq Umar rushing in from long-off to pouch a low chance at 158 for eight.
Rampaul then lashed two sixes in an unbeaten 15 and Kemar Roach cracked another in finishing on 10 not out, in a brisk 26-run stand for the ninth wicket that saw West Indies end with a flourish. (CMC)