Thu, May 26, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Honors even as Pakistan capture West Indies Test

STRENGTH IN ADVERSITY:Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said it had been difficult for the team to play away from home, but it had made the players strong mentally


Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal reacts after receiving the Man of the Series award on Tuesday after the team won by 196 runs on day five of the second Test between the West Indies and Pakistan at the Warner Park ground in Basseterre, St Kitts.

Photo: AFP

Abdur Rehman finished with -career-best figures, and shared the last five wickets with fellow spinner Saeed Ajmal to usher Pakistan to a series-leveling 196-run victory in the second Test against the West Indies on Tuesday.

Rehman captured four for 65 from 24.3 overs, and Ajmal took three for 79 from 31 overs, as the West Indies, in pursuit of a highly improbable target of 427, were dismissed for 230 in their second innings about 15 minutes before lunch on the final day at Warner Park.

The match came to an anti--climatic close, when Kemar Roach failed to beat Wahab Riaz’s direct hit at the bowlers’ end, and was run out for 12, after indecision about taking a single with Devendra Bishoo.

The Pakistani victory meant the two-Test series was tied 1-1, after the West Indies claimed a 40-run victory in the first Test.

“I think one thing [that] is good about this side, especially this bunch of guys, is that they have a real true fighting spirit,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said. “I think that helped us to get back into this game and win to tie the series.”

Misbah said it has been difficult playing so much away from home because of safety concerns, but they were many positives to this sad reality.

“We are getting more experienced playing in foreign conditions, and we are learning more and more how to adapt ourselves and our cricket to different conditions,” he said. “I think it has also helped our team unity because the guys are getting stronger mentally and are still performing well in conditions to which they are not accustomed.”

Misbah also hailed the fielding of his side in the match, a transformation from the first Test, when they dropped close to 10 catches.

“This is the one area where we were certainly behind in the -previous Test and I think in this game, the fielding was the difference between the two sides,” he said.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy signed off with a boundary-studded 41, but he viewed the outcome of the series as an opportunity lost for his side to prove that they have truly turned a corner in their woeful performances in recent times.

“We had good momentum coming into this game, and I think we lost that momentum when the Pakistan last wicket pair put on 78 in the first innings,” Sammy said. “But we just did not score enough runs in this game. We are not happy with this or the way we have batted throughout the series.

“Cricket is about runs and -wickets, and in order to win, we have to score more runs, and we have not been able to do this for a while now,” he said. “This means our batsmen have some work to do. We have Dessie [Haynes] working with us, and he has been doing some good work, but we now have to put what we learn from him to work for us in the middle — that’s where it counts.”

Off-spinner Ajmal, whose 17 wickets in the series made him a shoo-in for the Man of the Series award, struck in the third over of the day, when he had left-hander Brendan Nash caught at slip by Man-of the Match Taufeeq Umar without addition to his overnight 30.

Rehman twice missed out on his fourth scalp, when Azhar Ali at point dropped Carlton Baugh Jr, on 15, in the sixth over of the day.

The left-arm spinner also thought he had Baugh on 16, but a review of Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva’s not-out decision for either a catch to silly-point or LBW was unsuccessful.

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