Saeed Ajmal continued to torment West Indies as he bowled Pakistan back into the opening Test yesterday when the hosts were reduced to 96 for seven in their second-innings at lunch for an overall lead of 162.
The off-spinner has taken four for 23 from 14 overs for match figures of nine for 92 to leave the West Indies tottering at the interval on the third day.
The off-spinner struck after West Indies continued from their overnight total of 34 for two. He removed Kemar Roach leg-before for three, following the West Indies fast-bowler’s unsuccessful review of New Zealand umpire Tony Hill’s decision. It was the 13th leg-before decision awarded in the match.
Ajmal continued the demolition, removing Ramnaresh Sarwan for 11 and Carlton Baugh for seven. With the off-spinner tying the batsmen down, and Wahab Riaz and Umar Gul bowling steadily from the other end.
He remained a constant threat and this brought Sarwan’s downfall, caught at forward short leg fending an awkwardly bouncing delivery. Pakistan were gifted another wicket when Brendan Nash was run out for three, looking for a second run. Ajmal then struck in the last 15 minutes before the interval when Baugh was caught at mid-wicket.
Coach impressed by Bishoo
Meanwhile, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson hailed Devendra Bishoo for the maturity that he has shown since his entry into the international scene.
The 25-year-old finished with four wickets on his Test debut to help bowl Pakistan out for 160, and hand West Indies a 66-run, first innings lead on the second day.
“He has shown signs of being a very intelligent bowler,” said Gibson. “He showed he has the ability to handle himself when he’s put under pressure, and that’s a very good sign.”
Ealier, in the first-innings, Bishoo trapped Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq leg-before to claim his first Test wicket, and proceeded to scalp Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Salman, and Umar Akmal to transform the fortunes of West Indies.
Bishoo’s entry into Tests has been made extra special because it has come in his native Guyana, and he admitted feeling the pressure to perform. “I wanted to do well,” he said. “Here at home, a lot of people have been giving me great support, so I wanted to get wickets as my way to say thanks.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2011.