Monday 23 May 2011 

Pakistan Eye Test Win After Dominating Day Four

Pakistan Eye Win After Dominating Day Four
Pakistan Eye Win After Dominating Day Four
© REUTERS/Nigel Marple (NEW ZEALAND - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images
 

Pakistan 272 & 377-6 dec. (Taufeeq Umar 135) v
West Indies 226 & 130-5 (Abdur Rehman 3-26)
Second Test, Saint Kitts, day four
| Report by John Pennington

Pakistan enjoyed a thoroughly successful fourth day of the second Test against the West Indies and will begin the final day of the series firm favourites to wrap up a series-levelling victory.

They first pushed on with the bat as centuries from Taufeeq Umar and Misbah-ul-Haq set up a declaration at 377 for six and then reduced the home side to 130 for five at stumps having been set 424 to win.

Umar made 135 as he registered his first Test century for more than seven years while Misbah gave the innings the burst of pace it needed - both to hurry Pakistan towards a defendable lead and allow them enough time to bowl the West Indians out.

In the afternoon, when Abdur Rehman picked up three wickets in quick succession and Pakistan's spin bowlers dominated, a rapid victory was a distinct possibility but both sides will come back on day five after the West Indies stalled Pakistan's charge.

Darren Bravo resisted gamely with 50 in 144 balls before he was trapped in front late on by Wahab Riaz and the West Indies ended still 298 runs away from taking an unlikely win.

Taufeeq resumed the day on 97 and took him a while to get the three runs requried for his fifth Test century and he was no doubt grateful for Misbah's controlled aggression at the other end which in one Darren Sammy over saw three boundaries scored in as many balls.

The left-handed Taufeeq kicked on having reached his century but was guilty of a lazy piece of work as he was run out at the non-strikers end having made his 135 in 314 deliveries.

Misbah muscled ten fours and two sixes and declared the innings when he reached his century having also seen Umar Akmal (30) and Mohammad Salman (8) perish in the hunt for quick runs.

Pakistan then got the perfect start with the ball as Tanvir Ahmed produced one of the delvieries of the match with a vicious inswinger that seamed in further after pitching to comprehensively bowl debutant Kraigg Brathwaite without scoring.

Lendl Simmons (24) then combined with Bravo to add 52 for the second before departed unluckily when he pulled Rehman to Mohammad Hafeez, who took the catch at the third attempt.

That heralded the period where Pakistan turned the screw with spinners Rehman, Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal all taking turns to produce unplayable deliveries on a pitch that was aiding their craft.

Rehman had Ramnaresh Sarwan trapped in front as he went onto the backfoot without scoring and Marlon Samuels, who never settled, got a brute of a delivery which he could only edge into the gloves of Salman for Rehamn's third wicket.

Bravo mixed cautious defence with some attractive strokeplay but was finally undone moments after he reached his half-century when Riaz got one to slide across him and straighten enough to earn the umpire's decision.

Brendan Nash was unbeaten on 30 while Carlton Baugh survived offering Asad Shafiq a tough chance in the gulley to make stumps not out on nine but few expect anything more than a Pakistan victory come the final day of what has been a compelling series - which the West Indies lead 1-0 courtesy of a 40-run win in Guyana - between two evenly-matched sides.

© Cricket World 2011

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