Pakistan will look to redeem themselves, especially the batsmen, as they face West Indies in the second and final Test today at Warner Park.
A miserable show by the team’s batting line-up saw Pakistan lose by 40 runs in the first match , a result that shattered dreams of the visitors of a maiden Test-series win on Caribbean soil. Instead the focus now will be on levelling the series, which started off with Pakistan being labelled the favourites.
For the batsmen, the first Test was a disaster: one half-century in the match, by Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq, and failure to cross 200 in both innings by the visitors. However, Misbah feels that the team showed fighting spirit and there were positives to be drawn from the match in Guyana.
“We will be ready, and we will be motivated for the final Test,” said Misbah. “There were a lot of positive things for us from the match, and we showed a lot of fighting spirit.”
After restricting West Indies to 226 in the first-innings, Pakistan flopped to concede a lead of 66.
Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal led the fightback with career-best six wickets in the second-innings that gave him 11 scalps in the match, and had the home team on the ropes. But Pakistan allowed West Indies to wriggle free from the despair of 104 for nine, as the last-wicket pair of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Devendra Bishoo beefed-up their side’s total with an eventual, match-winning partnership of 48.
Misbah credits hosts
Some may question the role the pitch played in the defeat, but Misbah was also willing to admit that the West Indies clearly dealt with the conditions better in Guyana.
“After we conceded a first-innings lead, the bowlers bowled really well, and fought hard to bring us back into the game. When we lost three wickets in the second-innings, it was really difficult but we fought hard. But we must give credit to West Indies. They bowled very well, and most of our guys got out to good balls.”
Hosts aim for a win
Meanwhile, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson has signalled his side’s intention of trying to earn a rare series victory, let alone a series sweep.
He said his side had talked about winning the series and captain Darren Sammy, whose five wickets in the fourth innings of the match ushered his side to victory in Guyana, agreed with Gibson.
“We have only won one match,” said Sammy. “We will take a lot of confidence from this result, but we still have to continue working hard, and look to improve our performance in the second Test. We did not bat very well, so we need to put decent totals on the board. We just need to keep improving in all disciplines, and we can come out victorious in the second Test.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ