Spinners put Pakistan in control on day two of second Test

West Indies Darren Bravo (R) is caught by Pakistan’s Asad Shafiq during day two of their second test in Basseterre AFP

By Paul Mitchell

Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis: May 22, 2011

Pakistan’s array of spinners continued their excellent work in their tussles with West Indies, sharing six wickets and putting their side in control of the second Test on Saturday.

Part-time off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez finished the second day with a flattering two for 16 from four overs, left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman ended with two for 46 from off 23 overs and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal captured two for 49 from 21 overs, as West Indies reached 184 for eight at stumps, replying to Pakistan’s first innings total of 272.

Marlon Samuels hit the top score of 57 for West Indies, Darren Bravo made 24, and Ramnaresh Sarwan got 20, but many of the West Indies batsmen were undermined by the clever spin bowling from the visitors on a Warner Park pitch, offering them sharp turn and generous bounce.

This followed a maiden Test half-century from Tanvir Ahmed in a record last wicket stand of 78 with Ajmal that frustrated West Indies for close to two hours, as the Pakistanis’ first innings came to a close just before lunch.

Tanvir struck 10 boundaries in a career-best 57 and Ajmal was not out on 23, establishing a new mark on the ground for the last wicket.

“I think Saeed and I did very well to bat the way we did, and give our side such a big partnership because the pitch is not playing easy,” said Tanvir.

“We needed those runs for the team, and it helped us to post a respectable total. I told Saeed Ajmal to try and play as straight as possible because they were bowling well, and he followed my advice, and I did the same, and it worked.”

Ravi Rampaul was the pick of the West Indies bowlers with three for 68 from 26 overs, leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo captured three for 80 from 32.5 overs, and West Indies captain Darren Sammy took two for 70 from 28 overs.

The visitors then built on the momentum, when they reduced West Indies to 94 for four at tea.

The new ball pair of Tanvir Ahmed and Wahab Riaz removed openers Lendl Simmons and Kraigg Brathwaite for a second-ball duck and 15 respectively to slip catches, and Ajmal snared the prized scalp of Ramnaresh Sarwan, leaving West Indies wobbling on 54 for three.

Hafeez tormented the hosts with his part-time off-spin, grabbing Darren Bravo caught second slip.

After tea, the Pakistan spinners continued the demolition job, when Hafeez struck in the third full over after tea, when left-hander Brendan Nash was caught at slip for six.

Abdur Rehman trapped Carlton Baugh Jr lbw for six, essaying a sweep, a decision he unsuccessfully had reviewed, to tighten Pakistan’s grip.

The Pakistanis were held up by a stand of 37 between Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy that stemmed the tide before Rehman ended the stand, when the West Indies captain was caught inside the long-off boundary for 16.

Ajmal then removed Samuels, whose 50 came from 117 balls, when he had him caught low down at long-off.

Earlier, Tanvir and Ajmal stubbornly defied the West Indies’ decision to take the second new ball, mixing occasional strokes of adventure with resolute batting, after slumping to 194 for nine inside the first hour.

Tanvir reached his 50 from 93 balls before Devendra Bishoo trapped him lbw playing back and across to a leg-break.

When play opened half-hour earlier than scheduled to compensate for time lost on the previous day due to poor weather, Pakistan ran into early trouble, after beginning the day on 180 for six.

They lost Abdur Rehman caught behind off West Indies captain Darren Sammy for three in the third full over of the day before Mohammad Salman was caught for 13 off Bishoo.

Wahab was dropped by wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh off Kemar Roach, but he fell four deliveries later to the same combination for a duck.

The visitors trail 0-1 in the two-Test series, following a 40-run defeat inside four days in the first Test, which ended last Sunday at the Guyana National Stadium, crushing their dreams of a maiden Test series victory in the Caribbean.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 272 allout (Azhar Ali 67, Tanvir Ahmed 57; Ravi Rampaul 3 for 68, Devendra Bishoo 3 for 80) lead West Indies 184 for 8 (Marlon Samuels 57, Darren Bravo 24; Mohammad Hafeez 2 for 16, Saeed Ajmal 2 for 49) by 88 runs