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Sight Screen

Friday, June 03, 2005

Two steps forward...

...one step back, for Pakistan at Sabina Park versus the West Indies. Couple of early wickets lost, then a 97-run stand between Inzy and Younis; just when things begin to look up, Inzy goes; Younis and Asim Kamal then get back to innings-building with a 117-run stand when, bingo, out goes Younis, quickly followed by Kamal. Back to the building blocks now, with Afridi and Razzaq at bat. 272/5, with just Kamran Akmal to follow, is by no means the sort of score Pakistan wanted, with first strike on a decent batting track.
Woolmer had the right idea when he suggested Pak batsmen are guilty of preferring the swashbuckle over substance; he was probably speaking in Afrikaans, though, coz no one seems to have been listening. (Afridi certainly wasn't -- in his brief knock, he's played and missed, played and miscued, gloved one and been put down by Chanderpaul, edged one and found it fly over slips, and occasionally managed to club the boundary.)
Neat knock by Younis -- check out his wagonwheel, he's played it almost inch-perfect for the conditions. No big drives through the mid off region, which makes sense given the Windies quicks were pitching it a touch back of length on that off line, which doesn't make for drive-able balls. Plenty through the covers, and behind the wickets on both sides, again sensible play for the line and length bowled to him.
If Afridi can reprise his second innings assault of the first Test, while Razzaq and Akmal steady things at the other end, Pak has a chance -- but anything under 400 (450 would be even handier) on this deck, and they will have handed the game to the Windies on a plate.

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