Captain Darren Sammy led his team to their first Test win in more than two years, taking five wickets as West Indies beat Pakistan by 40 runs after lunch on the fourth day.
The victory ended a dreadful run of form for West Indies, who had not won in 17 Tests dating back to February 2009.
Chasing 219 in their second innings for victory, Pakistan collapsed to be all out for 178 in just 73 overs after they had resumed on 80 for three.
Sammy praises coach
Sammy, who has been under fire in the Caribbean, ripped through the Pakistan middle and lower order, finishing with figures of five for 29 and was named man of the match.
“It’s a good feeling. This is about West Indies cricket, we as a team needed this performance, it was total team effort and it was good to come out with a win,” said Sammy.
The first St.Lucian skipper of the West Indies said coach Ottis Gibson had been given some reward for his efforts to turn around the Caribbean team.
“It is the belief that is there in the guys, Ottis asks everyone to go out there and practice batting. It was a wicket to bowl straight on.
“Lately things haven’t been going well but I still have the belief and the rest of the team also have belief...it is still only one victory though and we still have to continue working hard and improving.”
Ravi Rampaul also took advantage of the difficult batting surface to take four for 48 as West Indies cleaned up the last six Pakistan wickets for 43 runs in a low-scoring match where only one player managed to make a half-century.
West Indies made an early breakthrough when Rampaul clean bowled Asad Shafiq for 42, ending a partnership that had pulled Pakistan back from the dreadful start when they their first three wickets with just two runs on the board.
Misbah, Akmal revive Pakistan
Misbahul Haq continued with Umar Akmal, putting on a 52 run stand that promised to turn the match decisively in Pakistan’s favour.
But Sammy brought himself into the attack and removed Misbah lbw for 52 before trapping Mohammad Salman in a similar manner to complete a double wicket maiden that turned the game.
Batting collapse follows
After lunch the wickets tumbled with Sammy and Rampaul taking full advantage of a surface that offered plenty of movement.
Critics may question both the quality of the batting surface and some of the batting on display but for success-starved fans in the Caribbean, it was an enthralling test which ended with a much-needed victory.
For Pakistan, the result extends a miserable statistic. They have never won a Test series in the Caribbean in six previous visits and the best they can hope for this time is a drawn one with only
one Test to go that starts on May 20.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2011.