Pakistan win, levels series
June 10, 2005
Pakistan win, levels series

Pakistan claimed the remaining four West Indian wickets for the addition of 29 runs within an hour on the last morning to complete a comprehensive 136-run win in the second and final Digicel Test at Sabina Park on Tuesday.

The result, Pakistan’s first Test victory in the Caribbean since 1988 and first-ever win in three attempts in Kingston, left the series level at 1-1 and proved an extremely satisfying conclusion for Inzamam-ul-Haq. {{more}}

The tourists’ captain was on the losing end on his two previous West Indian tours in 1993 and 2000, and after leading his side to a 3-0 sweep of the limited-over contest that preceded the Tests, was suspended from the first Test at Kensington Oval, where the home side romped to a 276-run win inside four days.

The 35-year-old veteran of 101 Tests played a significant role in the series-squaring win with innings of 50 and 117 not out along with aggressive captaincy.

Man of the Match Danish Kaneria wrecked the West Indies top order the previous evening in taking four wickets, and triggered the final slide to 143 all out by having Darren Powell caught by Yasir Hameed half-an-hour after the early start to finish with innings figures of five for 46.

Kaneria who was the visitors’ bowling trump card in the absence of fast bowlers Shaoib Akhtar and Mohammed Sami had only claimed one wicket for 94 runs in the first innings.He was warned off from bowling for the rest of the innings for encroaching on the danger area of the pitch once too often.

Shabbir Ahmed ,a gangling pacer, whose bowling action remains a source of increasing disquiet, administered the final rites with the last three wickets to finish with four for 55 and a match haul of eight for 119.

He had 13 wickets in the two Tests. There was little doubt that the honour would be bestowed upon Brian Lara, even allowing for Corey Colllymore’s record match haul of 11 for 134 at Sabina and 15 wickets in the series.

The champion batsman’s run of second innings failures continued the previous evening when he fell to a leg-side wicket-keeper’s catch off Kaneria for a “duck”. Having amassed 331 runs at an average of 82.75 runs in the two Tests, highlighted by two centuries of the highest class. The former captain as the West Indies enjoyed the minimal satisfaction of ending a home season on high note for the first time in ten years.

A few diehard fans looked on glumly as the Pakistanis and their handful of supporters celebrated a momentous triumph on a sunny morning. The extent of the hosts’ plummet from the summit would have been blindingly obvious.