Tue, May 24, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Taufeeq lives a charmed life, puts Pakistan on top

AFP, BASSETERRE, ST KITTS AND NEVIS

Taufeeq Umar moved to within reach of his fifth Test century as Pakistan stamped their authority on the second Test against the West Indies on Sunday.

The Pakistan opener hit a chancy, undefeated 97 to anchor the visitors to 202 for three in their second innings — an overall lead of 251 — at the close on the third day at Warner Park.

Taufeeq struck 10 boundaries from 231 balls in close to four hours of batting to fortify Pakistan’s position after they dismissed the West Indies for 223 before lunch to grab a first-innings lead of 49.

Left-hander Taufeeq lived a charmed life, surviving three chances.

Taufeeq shared 82 for the first wicket with Mohammad Hafeez to lay the platform and built on it in a 76-run second wicket stand with Azhar Ali, before the West Indies claimed two wickets.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq joined Taufeeq and they batted through a little more than an hour to further frustrate the West Indies.

Taufeeq was on 1 when he edged Kemar Roach to first slip, where Darren Bravo dropped a straightforward offering, and he was on 13 when he edged the same bowler to second slip, where Sammy put him down.

He reached his half-century from 82 balls when he tugged a delivery from leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo through mid-on for a single, but he was very fortunate on 56, when he advanced to a flighted delivery from Bishoo, missed a flick and the ball ricocheted from his pad. That wrong-footed West Indies wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr and he failed to gather to effect a difficult stumping chance with the batsman stranded.

After Taufeeq and Hafeez carried Pakistan to 55 without loss at lunch, Sammy made the breakthrough for the West Indies.

Hafeez drove loosely at an off-cutter and was bowled off an inside-edge for 32.

Azhar came to the crease and announced himself with an on-drive off Sammy for his first boundary. He was the perfect foil for Taufeeq, taking Pakistan to 131 for one at tea.

After the break, they continued to extend Pakistan’s advantage, before Azhar, whose innings contained a half-dozen fours from 90 balls in close to three hours, was caught at slip off Bishoo, top-edging a late cut. Asad Shafiq was then caught behind off Roach for 4.

Earlier, Pakistan were frustrated as the West Indies, starting the day on 184 for eight, extended their innings for about one-and-a-half hours thanks to their tailenders.

Hafeez made the breakthrough when he trapped Roach leg before wicket playing back and across for a career-best 29, following a valuable 60-run stand for the ninth wicket with Rampaul.

Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan’s most penetrative bowler in the brief series, brought the innings to a close when Devendra Bishoo edged a forward defensive shot and was caught at slip for 1.

Hafeez was the pick of Pakistan’s bowlers, finishing with a career-best three for 23 from eight overs, fellow off-spinner Ajmal ended with three for 56 off 28.5 overs and left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman captured two for 55 from 29 overs.

ENGLAND LIONS V SRI LANKA

AFP, DERBY, ENGLAND

Dilhara Fernando took three wickets for four runs as Sri Lanka completed their preparations for this week’s first Test against England with a morale-boosting 38-run win over the England Lions on Sunday.

Sri Lanka won on the fourth and final day after being made to follow-on.

England Test call-up Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara, left out of the 12-man squad named earlier on Sunday for the first of a three-Test series starting in Cardiff on Thursday, both fell victim to paceman Fernando, who finished with figures of three for 33.

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