Cricket: Openers' record partnership

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The Independent Online
West Indies 216

Pakistan 327-1

Openers Aamir Sohail and Ijaz Ahmed hit contrasting centuries to heap more embarrassment on the beleaguered West Indies in the final Test yesterday in Karachi.

A record 298-run opening partnership carried Pakistan to 327 for 1 in reply to the touring team's paltry 216 when bad light forced an early close to the second day.

It broke Pakistan's previous highest first-wicket stand against West Indies - the 159 made by Zaheer Abbas and Majid Khan in the 1976-77 series in Bridgetown.

Sohail struck a dashing 160 and Ijaz a more watchful 127 not out. It was the first time in 243 Tests that both Pakistani openers had scored centuries in an innings.

Sohail, who ended a run of 17 Tests without a century with 160 in Pakistan's second Test victory in Rawalpindi last week, faced 254 balls and hit 21 fours in an innings spanning just under six hours.

"It is a beautiful batting track and I am disappointed at missing out on my second double century," said Sohail, who scored 205 against England in 1992.

Ijaz, opening the innings in place of Saeed Anwar who is nursing a stiff neck, grafted his way to his eighth Test century in 42 matches. His 284- ball innings was studded with 11 fours and a six.

Pakistan won the first two Tests by an innings and victory in Karachi would inflict the first clean sweep in a series by any country over West Indies for 69 years.

Second day of five; West Indies won toss

WEST INDIES - First Innings 216 (Sherwin Campbell 50, Saqlain Mushtaq 5-54, Wasim Akram 3-76).

PAKISTAN - First Innings (overnight 34-0)

Aamir Sohail lbw Chanderpaul 160

Ijaz Ahmed not out 127

Saeed Anwar not out 15

Extras (b-3 lb-4 nb-16 w-2) 25

Total (for one wkt) 327

To bat: Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Wasim, Moin Khan, Azhar Mahmood, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younis.

Fall: 1-298

Bowling (to date): Walsh 16-2-53-0 (nb1), Rose 12-1-44-0 (nb1), Dillon 16-0-59-0, Bishop 15-0-68-0 (nb11 w1), Hooper 26-8-62-0 (nb3), Chanderpaul 7-0-34-1.

Umpires: C Mitchley (SA) and Salim Badar (Pak).

l A century by Mark Waugh helped Australia to a three-wicket victory over New Zealand with two balls to spare in a World Series match in Adelaide yesterday. Waugh scored 104 from 113 deliveries as Australia overhauled New Zealand's 260 for 7 to record their first win in the triangular limited overs tournament after a defeat by South Africa on Thursday.