Windies` Rampaul takes 3 early Pakistan wickets

Updated: May 21, 2011, 08:43 AM IST

Basseterre (St Kitts): Azhar Ali and Umar Akmal on Saturday hit contrasting half centuries but Pakistan never fully recovered from the loss of three early wickets as their side limped to 180-6 at the end of a rain-hit opening day of the second and final Test against the West Indies.

Azhar topscored with a four-hour 67 off 196 deliveries while fellow right-hander Akmal cracked 56 off 88 deliveries at Warner Park as Pakistan sought to level the series after losing the first test.

Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul (3-40) did the early damage for the hosts as Pakistan dipped to 24-3 after winning the toss. Captain Darren Sammy took 1-50 with his medium pace while leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo claimed 1-55. The 26-year-old Azhar shared two restorative partnerships, first an even 50 with captain Misbah-ul-Haq and then 93 with the aggressive Akmal.

Rampaul had started the slide in his fourth over when left-hander Taufeeq Umar (11) tried to pull his bat out of the way but only succeeded in getting a glove through to wicket-keeper Carlton Baugh.

Next over, Rampaul added the scalp of Mohammad Hafeez (8), who deflected a catch to third slip where Lendl Simmons pouched the easy offering.

It was soon three down as Asad Shafiq swatted a rare bad ball straight to Bishoo at backward point.

Misbah and Azhar Ali rebuilt slowly before lunch, but then were more enterprising after the break. Bishoo made the telling breakthrough as Misbah lofted an on-drive to Marlon Samuels at mid-on. The Pakistan skipper hit five fours in 25.

Azhar and Akmal, in contrasting styles, took the score to 106-4 before one of four rain interruptions on the day brought an early tea.

Both players got to their half centuries after the resumption. Azhar brought his up by cracking Sammy through backward point for his sixth boundary. He was dropped soon afterwards, Simmons at slip grassing a difficult chance low to his left off his captain.

Akmal gifted his wicket soon after reaching his landmark, chasing an extremely wide delivery from Sammy and only slicing to third man where Rampaul held onto a fine, low catch.

Azhar also fell in wasteful fashion soon afterwards, run out by the length of the pitch after a mix-up with wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman at 176-6. Salman and Abdur Rehman survived to the premature close, which came when bad light forced the players off with 13.4 overs remaining.

Bureau Report