A win for West Indies at long last
by AFP

Ground:Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
Scorecard:West Indies v Pakistan
Player:Asim Kamal, Abdul Razzaq, CH Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal
Event:Pakistan in West Indies 2004/05

DateLine: 29th May 2005


Shahid Afridi's third Test hundred could not prevent West Indies from winning their first Test in a shade over one year, when they completed a comprehensive 276-run win over Pakistan in the first Test.


Chasing a highly improbable, if not impossible target of 573 runs to win, Pakistan were dismissed for 296 in their second innings about 40 minutes after lunch on the fourth day at Kensington Oval, despite a typically belligerent 122 from Afridi.


Chris Gayle was the chief wrecker of the Pakistan innings, taking five wickets for 91 runs from 18.3 overs, and Daren Powell snared two for 47 from 11 overs to give him support.


The result gave West Indies a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series, and their first victory in a Test, since an innings and 99 runs win over Bangladesh at Kingston last June.


"This win is for the fans that stuck with us throughout the season," remarked West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who was also named Man-of-the-Match.


"This was a real team effort. I have to thank all the guys for playing their part. We worked hard and remained positive, and hopefully, this will be a boost for us for the next Test."


The second Test in the series begins at Kingston on Friday, when Pakistan will be hoping to regroup and earn a series-levelling win.


"Outside of the recent Test against India in Bangalore, and one or two others, we have not played Test matches very well," Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said.


"We did not bat well in our first innings, although we had bowled well in the West Indies first innings, and we were playing catch up.


"Not having Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana in our batting line-up did not help our cause either, but I thought we were spineless in the first innings with our batting, and we will address this in the next few days.


"It's not that we have been out of form. It's just that the batsmen got themselves out stupidly, and they showed no fight or spirit at the crease which was surprising."


Afridi powered his way to his second hundred in Tests against West Indies, when he moved down the pitch and clouted fast bowler Daren Powell - one bounce - into the long-off boundary for four.


All but 32 of his 122 from 95 balls in a shade under three hours were in boundaries comprising nine fours and six sixes.


Fortune however, had favoured Afridi when long-off fielder Devon Smith dropped him on 35 off Chris Gayle's part-time off-spin bowling.


Afridi quickly regained his composure, and continued to rattle off his strokes. He reached his 50 when he pulled a bouncer from Corey Collymore high over mid-wicket and almost over the perimeter wall.


After reaching his hundred, Afridi celebrated with consecutive sixes over mid-wicket off Gayle, as he shared two vital partnerships to save Pakistan some shame, after the visitors continued from their bedtime position of 113 for four.


Afridi added 115 for the fifth wicket with Asim Kamal, who was caught at slip off Gayle for 55 that contained eight fours and one six from 100 balls in a little under 2-1/4 hours.


Before Powell's slower ball deceived him, and he was caught at deep mid-off, Afridi also added 97 for the sixth wicket with Razzaq, who hit five fours and one six in from 85 balls in close to two hours.


After Pakistan reached 274 for six at lunch, they offered limited resistance after the interval with the last four wickets tumbling for 19 runs in the space of six overs.


In the third over after lunch, Razzaq was stumped off Gayle in a decision referred to the television replay umpire, after he overbalanced essaying an on-side stroke, and failed to get his backfoot behind the popping crease before keeper Browne removed the bails.


Gayle then bowled Kamran Akmal for 21, had Rana Naved-ul-Hasan caught at mid off for a duck, and ended the match when Danish Kaneria was caught behind for a duck.


West Indies, who were beaten 2-0 at home by South Africa in their most recent Test series and then lost eight consecutive One-day Internationals to the Proteas and Pakistan, have never lost a Test at Bridgetown, much less a Test series in the Caribbean, to Pakistan in five previous trips.


The match was also the final international fixture at Kensington Oval before it undergoes major renovations ahead of the 2007 ICC World Cup in the Caribbean.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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