Dropped catch weighs heavily for Windies

Agence France Presse

Kingston, June 6:

A crucial dropped catch by West Indies wicketkeeper Courtney Browne let Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and, indeed, the visitors off the hook in their second and final Test on Sunday. Inzamam, who strangely came at five, benefited from Browne’s greasy gloves and sped to a half-century to lead his side to 223/4 on the third day. Corey Collymore, who took 3-36 runs for his maiden 10-wicket haul in Tests, had put the skids on the Pakistanis with the removal of Shoaib Malik (64) and Asim Kamal for a duck in the space of three balls.

Collymore delivered a perfectly pitched delivery that moved away from just outside off-stump, and Inzamam groped sheepishly, only to find the edge. Browne flew to his right, and succeeded in getting both his gloves to the ball, only to spill it, much to the consternation of the bowler, the crowd, and several others around the Caribbean that have been calling for his head for the exact same reason.

Inzamam decided it was too good a chance to waste, and immediately dug in. A couple of meaty pulls off Daren Powell and a few searing cuts off Chris Gayle telegraphed a strong message to West Indies and Browne, in particular. Inzamam added a vital 75 for the fourth wicket with his deputy Younis Khan (46) before he offered Chris Gayle a tame return catch.

But Collymore, gaining bounce and movement from the hard, true Sabina Park pitch, had Hameed caught at third slip for 26. A stand of 53 for the third wicket between Younis and Malik either side of tea that was taken with the Pakistanis on 86 for one, helped the visitors recover from the setback.

Earlier, West Indies extended their innings to about half-hour after lunch, and were dismissed for 404, replying to Pakistan’s first innings total of 374. Shabbir Ahmed and Shahid Afridi shared the last six West Indies wickets equally either side of the home team reaching 374/7 at lunch. West Indies had almost literally had things their way, after they continued from their bedtime position of 275 for four. Shabbir struck twice in the second over with the new ball. Lara gloved a steepling bouncer to give wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal the third of his five dismissals. Lara struck 20 fours and two sixes in his 233-ball 153 and added 51 for the fifth wicket with fellow left-hander Wavell Hinds (63), who shared 30 for the sixth wicket with Darren Powell (14) to get West Indies within reach of the lead.