Pakistan get even
CAPTAIN Darren Sammy just wasn’t able to steer his ship out of choppy waters yesterday.
And as the West Indies sank to an inevitable 196-run defeat, Pakistan were able to hold their heads high with a 1-1 share of the two-match Digicel cricket series.
Starting the fifth and final day of the second Test at Warner Park on 130 for five with achieving a victory target of 427 as difficult as swimming against the tide, the West Indies ran aground for 230.
They lost their last five wickets for exactly 100 runs, 15 minutes before lunch.
Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, whose bent-elbowed action should really attract the attention of the match officials, shared the last five wickets.
Rehman ended with career-best figures of four for 65 in 24.2 overs and Man Of The Series Ajmal bagged three for 79 in 31 overs, taking his tally to 17 wickets.
It was the first time a victory had been achieved at this venue after the two previous Tests, versus India in 2006 and against South Africa last year, had ended in high-scoring draws.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, whose unbeaten third Test century, along with Man Of the Match Taufeeq Umar’s fifth hundred, had paved the way for an early second innings declaration at 377 for six, was pleased with the effort of players, rebounding from the 40-run loss in the Guyana first Test.
“I am really proud of this bunch of guys and their fighting spirit. Catching was one of our failings in the first Test but we turned it around here and it was a big difference between the two teams,” he said.
“I am also happy I am performing well and it feels good to lead from the front,” added Misbah, who has not lost any of his three Test series since taking over the captaincy.
Any hopes of a prolonged West Indian resistance vanished in the third over of the day with the dismissal of vice-captain Brendan Nash without adding to his overnight score of 30.
Ajmal was responsible for Nash’s demise for the third time in his four innings of this series – he was run out in the other – when he induced the tentative left-hander to snick a simple catch to Taufeeq at first slip.
Wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh survived some anxious moments, including a referral which was rejected.
But he ironically went for 18 when Pakistan successfully challenged umpire Asoka de Silva’s not out decision on their confident LBW appeal after Baugh was deceived by a delivery from Rehman which straightened.
Sammy tried to keep the innings afloat as he hit out for six fours in a knock of 41 before he casually chipped a catch to his opposite number Misbah at short mid-wicket off Ajmal.
Ravi Rampaul enjoyed himself in a 22-ball cameo for 20 as he lifted Ajmal over extra cover for four and also swung Rehman for two sixes over wide long-on and square leg in consecutive overs.
But he was well caught by Umar Akmal at silly mid-off from Ajmal’s bowling and the end came in comical fashion.
Kemar Roach was run out for 12 by a direct throw at the non-striker’s end from Wahab Riaz at short fine leg as he backed up too far, trying to gain the strike.
Pakistan had also won the preceding five-match One-Day series 3-2, but Sammy felt the West Indies’ overall effort was a good one.
“It was a well-fought series but in this Test match we dropped a lot of catches which cost us dearly. We all know the saying catches win matches,” the skipper said.
“But looking back, I think it was a good effort by the team, squaring the series and keeping our record intact – not losing a Test series to Pakistan on home soil,” he added.