Pak spinners strike but Windies on top on day two
Guyana: Pakistan`s spinners fought to regain control of the first Test after their batting collapsed dramatically against the West Indies who finished the second day with a 100-run lead.
Mohammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal both struck early blows as West Indies reached 34 for two in their second innings when bad light stopped played 13 balls early at the Guyana National Stadium yesterday.
Pakistan had been dismissed for 160 in reply to West Indies first innings total of 226, about 40 minutes before the scheduled close with leg spinner Devendra Bishoo finishing with four for 68 from 25 overs on his Test debut.
Seamer Ravi Rampaul took three for 27 from 17 overs for his best figures in a Test.
"I felt the pressure to perform after seeing Saeed and the other Pakistan spinners bowling so well and getting so much help from the pitch," said Bishoo.
"I felt it was my duty to go and get wickets for the team. I tried to vary my pace a lot because the pitch was playing a bit slow and tried to bowl the balls in the right areas."
Abdur Rehman topped the scoring for the visitors with 40 not out while Azhar Ali made 34 and Umar Akmal hit 33.
Hafeez then gave Pakistan a bright start when the West Indies batted again, grabbing the scalp of Devon Smith lbw for one playing down the wrong line.
It was the sixth straight innings the part-time Pakistani off-spinner had dismissed the left-handed West Indies opener in the last month, stretching back to the quarter-finals of the recent World Cup.
Ajmal, who took five wickets in the West Indies first innings, also trapped Darren Bravo lbw for eight, when the left-hander played back and across to a well-pitched delivery.
Pakistan`s fortunes in the match shifted spectacularly after they continued from their lunchtime total of 45 for one.
Before lunch, the Pakistanis looked to have firm control, after Hafeez, Pakistan`s most prolific batsman in the one-day series, was bowled for four, dragging a delivery from Rampaul into his stumps in the second over of their innings.
Azhar and Taufeeq made steady progress either side of the interval in between a couple alarming moments.
Taufeeq was fortunate on one when he edged a rising ball from Rampaul between second slip and gully for his first boundary.
His heart rate was raised again when he was on five, West Indies appealing unsuccessfully for a caught behind off the same bowler.
After lunch, the visitors lost five wickets for 23 runs in the space of 78 deliveries, and were wobbling on 80 for six.
Taufeeq was lbw to West Indies captain Darren Sammy for 19 playing forward and across a delivery angled in to the left-hander from around the wicket in the fifth over after lunch.
Three overs later, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was trapped lbw plumb in front for two on the backfoot to a flatter, faster delivery from Bishoo.
Azhar was bowled in the next over, offering no stroke to a delivery moving back to give Sammy his second wicket in 12 overs that cost 16.
Asad Shafiq was lbw for two playing down the wrong line to a leg-break from Bishoo, following a successful West Indies review of New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden`s not-out verdict, and Mohammad Salman was lbw for four, suffering a similar fate.
Pakistan reached 113 for six at tea, as Akmal added an even 50 for the seventh wicket either side of the break with Rehman.
Akmal then had a rush of blood, and was caught behind off Bishoo, when he top-edged a pull to trigger a collapse that saw Pakistan lose their last four wickets for 30 runs in the space of 65 balls.
Umar Gul was also caught behind, top-edging a pull at a short delivery from Rampaul, who also trapped Ajmal lbw for one, following a review of New Zealand umpire Tony Hill`s not-out verdict.
The visitors` innings came to a close, when Wahab Riaz was caught behind, groping at a delivery outside the off-stump to give Kemar Roach his only wicket.