Cricket: Hooper dents Pakistan pride

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The Independent Online
A SERIES that Pakistan began with such high expectations is likely to end for them some time today in the humiliation of a third, successive and last heavy defeat in the Test series against the West Indies here.

Beaten by 204 runs in three days in the first and by 10 wickets in four days in the second, Pakistan resume today after the rest day still 153 away from avoiding the follow-on for the second consecutive Test at 85 for 3, replying to 438.

They have endured several distressing days in the field in the past few weeks but nothing to compare with Sunday morning as Courtney Walsh, an authentic No 11, stayed over an hour and a half with Carl Hooper accumulating a West Indies record last-wicket partnership of 106.

The session accurately exposed the demise of the Pakistani spirit. Tailenders are usually like reeds in a hurricane before Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis but now, even armed with the second new ball, they were belted around the Antigua Recreation Ground by Walsh in reaching his highest Test score, 30 off 31 deliveries.

In his first series as captain, Wasim's inexperience was revealed as Hooper advanced from 116 to 178 without the slightest bother, 10 times casually collecting a single off the fifth ball of an over to secure the strike. On the day, he faced 94 balls, Walsh only 30.

After that, it was no surprise that openers, Ramiz Raja and Shakeel Ahmed, were out without scoring. It brought Javed Miandad into a familiar situation of having to rescue his team. It was a mission of which he was once eminently capable but, in his 121st Test and deposed as captain yet again prior to the tour, he clearly no longer has the stomach for it.

He battled unconvincingly for more than two hours before falling lbw five minutes before rain ended play 11 overs early and the Pakistanis need to look to their new generation of batsmen, the left-handed Asif Mujtaba, who resumes at 50, Basit Ali and Inzamam-ul-Haq to restore some battered pride.

(Third day: West Indies won toss)

WEST INDIES - First Innings 438 (C L Hooper 178no, R B Richardson 52; Waqar Younis 5-104).

PAKISTAN - First Innings

Shakeel Ahmed lbw b Ambrose 0

Ramiz Raja c Murray b Walsh 0

Asif Mujtaba not out 50

Javed Miandad lbw b Benjamin 31

Basit Ali not out 0

Extras (lb2 nb2) 4

Total (for 3) 85

Fall: 1-0 2-4 3-85.

To bat: Inzamam-ul-Haq, * Wasim Akram, Rashid Latif, Waqar Younis, Ata-ur-Rehman, Nadeem Khan.

Bowling (to date): Ambrose 9-6-5-1; Walsh 4-1- 19-1; Benjamin 7.5-0-18-1; Cummins 5-2-8-0; Hooper 6-0-33-0.

Umpires: H D Bird and S U Bucknor.