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Inzamam and Kaneria carry Pakistan to brink of victory
by APP


Ground:Sabina Park, Kingston
Scorecard:West Indies v Pakistan
Player:Inzamam-ul-Haq, JG Hatwell, Danish Kaneria, Shabbir Ahmed
Event:Pakistan in West Indies 2004/05

DateLine: 7th June 2005

 

Inzamam-ul-Haq's 22nd Test hundred set it up, and a handful of late wickets mostly for Danish Kaneria, including the prized scalps of Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, put Pakistan on the verge of a series-levelling victory in their compelling second and final Test against West Indies.

 

Chasing 280 runs to win, Kaneria collected four wickets for 37 runs from 14 overs, as West Indies slumped to 114 for six when bad light stopped play six overs early on an action-packed, rain-affected penultimate day at Sabina Park on Monday.

 

Inzamam capitalised on his good fortune to complete his fourth Test hundred against West Indies, a purposeful, undefeated 117, that was the cornerstone of his side's second innings total of 307.

 

Fast bowler Tino Best kept West Indies in the game when he collected a Test-best four for 44 from 12 overs, and Corey Collymore ended with four for 56 from 16.5 overs to claim the best match figures in the 41 Tests played at Sabina Park of 11 for 134.

 

As easily as Best and Collymore brought West Indies back into contention, Kaneria again shut the door on them with the wickets of Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lara and West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the space of nine balls in successive overs.

 

After a 2-1/4 hour break for bad light and rain, Kaneria had Ramnaresh Sarwan hit wicket for eight when the batsman tried to turn an awkwardly bouncing delivery into the leg-side in the third over after the resumption.

 

In his next over, Kaneria removed Lara when the West Indies' batting kingpin was caught down the leg-side for a five-ball duck.

 

Kaneria should have had Chanderpaul for a first-ball duck, when the left-handed batsman whipped a delivery hard into the mid-rift of short leg fielder Asim Kamal, who failed to grasp the sharp chance.

 

The players left the field for bad light a second time for about 15 minutes, but when play resumed, the leg-spin bowler did not have to wait too long to put Chanderpaul out of operation.

 

Chanderpaul was adjudged lbw for a three-ball duck pulling across the line of a flatter, faster delivery, but television replays seemed to suggest there should have been some element of doubt, since the ball appeared to strike him outside the line of off-stump.

 

West Indies were in tatters at 56 for four, but Smith spent close to an hour with fellow left-hander Wavell Hinds adding 38 for the fifth wicket before he failed to pick Kaneria's googly and was caught behind for the top score so far of 49 that contained seven fours from 109 balls in close to 2-1/2 hours.

 

In fading light, Abdul Razzaq added the scalp of Wavell Hinds caught at second slip for 19 for good measure, and Kaneria could have claimed his fifth had slip fielder Younis Khan held a sharp chance when Courtney Browne edged to his left playing defensively forward.

 

Earlier, Inzamam, who was fortunate to have been dropped first ball the previous evening, dug in deep to fashion one of the most important hundreds of his illustrious career.

 

The 35-year-old Inzamam glanced Reon King to the deep fine leg boundary for four about 25 minutes before lunch to arrive at his landmark.

 

Minutes earlier, fortune had again smiled on Inzamam, when on 92 he was caught behind off King, only to be saved by a loud bellow of "no-ball" from umpire Darrell Hair.

 

Inzamam spent four hours at the crease to smite 14 boundaries from 194 balls to hold things together for Pakistan, despite Best's efforts to bring a swift conclusion to their second innings.

 

The Pakistan captain completed a 73-run stand for the fifth wicket with Shahid Afridi, who was caught at mid-wicket off Best for a run-a-ball 43 that contained five fours and one six to give West Indies the breakthrough they yearned.

 

In his next over, Best bowled Abdul Razzaq for two, and in his following over, the fast bowler struck again to have Kamran Akmal caught behind for one.

 

King stepped in to have Rana Naved-ul-Hasan bowled off the inside edge for a duck, before Best added the wicket of Shabbir Ahmed caught behind for a duck just prior to the interval.

 

After lunch, West Indies needed less than 15 minutes and only 11 balls to wrap up the Pakistan innings, when Corey Collymore caught and bowled Kaneria for a duck to establish the best figures at the ground previously held by the late Hines Johnson.

 

Johnson, a native of Jamaica, captured 10 for 96 against England and this stood for 57 years as the best match analysis at the ground.

 

Just when Pakistan were looking to drill home their advantage, bad light and rain prompted an early tea with West Indies on 38 for one.

 

Umpires David Shepherd and Darrell Hair offered Smith and Sarwan light about 40 minutes before the scheduled tea break, but 20 minutes later, the gloomy skies over the Jamaica capital burst open, and drenched Sabina Park, hosting its final international match before major renovations ahead of the 2007 ICC World Cup in the Caribbean.

 

West Indies had an early setback when Chris Gayle was caught at third slip for 15 off Shabbir Ahmed fending a short, lifting delivery.

 

There were a few more anxious moments for both Smith and Sarwan, but they kept their composure, and defied the Pakistani attack until the break.

 

Kaneria had come close to removing Sarwan, when the former West Indies vice captain, on 14, offered a sharp return chance to the left of the leg-spin bowler, who could only get his fingertips to the ball. But that was only a blip on the screen.

 

West Indies, who were beaten 2-0 at home by South Africa in their most recent Test series and lost eight consecutive One-day Internationals to the Proteas and Pakistan, lead the two-Test series 1-0, after winning the first Test at Bridgetown by 276 runs.

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only. This article is published courtesy of APP
Copyright © 2005 APP)

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