Pakistan vs West Indies Commentary thread - 1st Test, 1st Day[10/11/06]

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Aug 28, 2005
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Pakistan v West Indies, 1st Test, Lahore

Lara: 'Spin may be the key'

Osman Samiuddin

November 10, 2006

Returns loom large over a muggy Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. West Indies are back in Pakistan after nine years and Brian Lara to the ground of his debut for the first time - for a Test - 16 years after he made 44 against an attack comprising Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Abdul Qadir.

As it turns out, that remains his highest score here, though he has only played three Tests in Pakistan since. His poor performances encapsulate those of his side in recent time; they haven't won a series here in 26 years, or a Test since 1990-91 and the last time they came, they were whitewashed. Difficult times ahead?

"It's a very important Test. It is the first time back in Pakistan in nine years so we are looking forward to it," Lara told reporters. "I can't worry much about the past. We have to think about the future and we've got an opportunity to beat Pakistan in Pakistan which has happened only once before. It will be great for us to do it again and I believe the team can pull it off."

The confidence isn't misplaced. Admittedly much of their heartening resurgence has been in colours, white ball in hand, but winning in any form is never bad for the mood. Strides have been made in recent months but Test matches and not ODIs, Lara asserted, are still - to get colloquial - where it's at. "We are hoping that the confidence we have gained in ODIs can transform into Tests. The core of the team is young but the likes of Ramnaresh Sarwan, Fidel Edwards and Shivnarine Chanderpaul have been around for some time and they enjoy playing Tests. We expect to make the switch to Tests and are well prepared for it."

Indeed they pose a considerable threat. Lara may be halfway through his 38th year, but he is Lara; all bowlers have suffered against him and Pakistani ones were manhandled over two Tests only 18 months ago. He fronts a rich batting line too, with Sarwan, Chris Gayle, and Chanderpaul only barely eclipsed these days by his presence. Some doubt lingers over the last two, both cursed, in a throwback to eighties tours to the subcontinent, by troubles gastric. "Gayle and Chanderpaul are coming back from stomach bugs. They are professionals and hopefully will be fine in another 24 hours," Lara said.

A return of sorts of Inzamam-ul-Haq will be a balm to Pakistan's recent troubles. He hasn't missed a Test -- only three ODIs -- but with Pakistan cricket shacking up in an asylum during his absence, already his last appearance feels a lifetime ago. The deadpan, the understatement and the tranquility was back. "I'm very happy to be back playing. I was only out for two months," he knowingly smiled, "but I am glad to be back and I hope to perform better."

Pakistan's preparations can be compared to a boxer's who has had a battering in his last sparring round before fight night, but Inzamam rarely gets ruffled. "Yes, preparations aren't ideal. I am missing key strike bowlers, but these things happen and we have to handle the pressure. We've played without them in the past and there will be no excuses."

At least the opening problem has been turned on its head momentarily; too few choices becomes too many. Imran Farhat and Mohammad Hafeez were the last Test pair and both made nineties, but Shoaib Malik's last Test contribution was a match-saving hundred in Colombo as opener. And Yasir Hameed and Salman Butt did well in the warm-up match two days ago. "It is good to see Yasir back and doing well but both Hafeez and Farhat did well in their last Tests and that counts," was the only hint Inzamam offered.

The bowling is bruised but rarely is a Pakistan bowling attack out for the count, especially at home. Umar Gul is earnestly trying to fill gaps, a thankless task if ever one existed, but the signs are promising. Pace support will be fitful but the contest's one concession to history may well be the potential role of Danish Kaneria's legspin. Abdul Qadir has bamboozled them, Mushtaq Ahmed has too, and Kaneria's last memories against West Indies are fond ones; five for 46 -- Lara and Chanderpaul cheaply -- all leading to a comeback win in Kingston, 2005.

Much will depend on the pitch and though to the untrained eye it doesn't differ from the one that provided the January run-glut when India visited, both captains suggested spin might feature as the match progresses. Lara said, "There's something in it for both pace and spin. Kaneria, Omari Banks and Dave Mohammed might play a role as the pitch deteriorates."

Inzamam echoed the sentiments, adding, out of custom it seemed, that everyone would enjoy the surface. "It's not one for two spinners but Kaneria will be important. He is a master at bowling long spells."

West Indies have won only one of their last fourteen Tests - against Pakistan as it happens. Pakistan's thumping in England and disappointment in India has taken the sheen off the last two years. All of which means that the only return that really matters is one to winning ways.

West Indies (probable)1 Chris Gayle, 2 Daren Ganga, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 5 Brian Lara (capt), 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Dave Mohammad, 9 Fidel Edwards, 10 Corey Colleymore, 11 Jerome Taylor

Pakistan (probable) 1 Imran Farhat, 2 Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Mohammad Yousuf, 5 Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Kamran Akmal (wk), 7 Shoaib Malik, 8 Abdul Razzaq, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Danish Kaneria, 11 Shahid Nazir

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

© Cricinfo
WI's record in the away tests vs PAK has been quite poor! They were swept in 1997/98 and then again in 2002(in Sharjah) but this WI team is a better than the one in 2002 and off course our team isn't that good expect high scoring series and which ever team falters 1st with the bat could end up losing the series!
abdul9383 said:
Its Kaneria time

seriously he needs to start gaining his old form back

You mean he is not in form? :O

If that is true then we are darn lucky to play pakistan now. :D

You can say a pakistan team without three top quality match winners
You mean he is not in form? :O

If that is true then we are darn lucky to play pakistan now. :D

You can say a pakistan team without three top quality match winners

he hasn't done anything since this time against Eng last time
I'd be interested to see how Ramdin goes. Seems like he has talent and played a few good knocks against Aus last year.
The majority of posters are in the UK so its still very early/late for them
Match starts at same time as time to go to bed , Now the delima is to watch or not to watch.

Are the teams announced yet ,and who is openng for pakistan??????
I'm confused. Is it starting in 20 mins or in 1 hour and 20 mins?
I'm looking forward to this game. I think it's shaping up as a good contest. I would've loved to see Salman Butt and Asif Kamal in the side, though.
Teams: Gayle, Ganga, Sarwan, Lara, Chanderpaul, Bravo, Ramdin, Dave Mohammed, Taylor, Edwards and, Collymore for West Indies.

For Pakistan: Farhat, Hafeez, Younis, Yousuf, Inzamam, Akmal, Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Shahid Nazir, Kaneria
Yasir and Niazi are playing...WI won the toss and elected to bat...Windies playing 2 spinners...Pakistani team seems to be relying on faster bowlers with Kaneria and Imran Farhat as spinners...
First it was reported Yasir and Niazi playing: Now No Yasir and Niazi: Instead Shoaib Malik is playing as All-Rounder and Shahid Nazir retained...

Farhat, Hafeez, Younis, Yousuf, Inzamam, Akmal, Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Shahid Nazir, Kaneria
Lara won the toss and WI will bat first. Umar gullu to open the bowling. looks foggy
Imran Farhat can bowl and has bowled recently in England as well...If he wants to stay in the team, he has to become someone like Amer Sohail as a left arm spinner...Now we have Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat, Danesh Kaneria, Shahid Nazir, Abdul Razzaq and Umar Gul as 7 people who can bowl...
Bowling looks very weak :(

after 10-15 overs, who is gonna take wickets :|

we need early 2-3 wickets
Fair team selection. Maybe we couldhave had Niazi instead of Razzaq. Other than that its all good.
Oh No: That was Kaneria after the ball: It seemed as if ball was after Kaneria...He needs running after the ball coaching...
Placid wicket with good fast out field...Yes: Pakistan will need some early wickets, as there is mist in the air...Shahid Nazir can be devastating in these conditions, if he bowls with confidence...
Shaid Nazir to bowl the seconf over. bowled good in the oval test but I think was not fit enough
What an amazing day it must be for Shahid Nazir that after getting so many wickets in the domestic cricket, he still had no chance to play International Cricket...But with time, sami went away, Shabbir got nailed, Shoaib got complacent and Asif got into trap out of today Shahid Nazir is opening the bowling after having recently got chance in England to play as well...
Shahid Nazir is looking good MashaAllah...
According to cricinfo Gayle inside edges it to gully. That would have been something to see
Shahid Nazir Vs Gyle will be a test for the bowler...
they call cameraman going for bathroom break technical difficulty. medical problem okay but technical
We need to send them Noni Juice...I think it is hazy in the morning and demanding extreme fitness...Once they will get used to it, then it would be fine...
i was thinking the same thing we should give them the new stuff while we at it it doesn't een appear in urine test after week or so
It is good to see Shahid Nazir mixing out swingers with straighter and out going deliveries...MashaAllah Very useful bowler Shahid Nazir...We will have to see, if later on he is able to reverse swing...If he does, then we are here for a treat...
wi 19-0. not much happening with bat or ball. only kaneria and his fielding
this is the worst weather to play cricket.
There should be no international cricket in Pakistan from Nov to Feb and May to July.
They better switch Kaneria with someone that can run ..... most of the runs scored have been str8 by Gayle .. until the leg byes just now ...
Abdul Razzaq is the person, who usually surprises everyone with an initial wicket...
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