Cricket: Remarkable tie ends one-day extravaganza: West Indies and Pakistan share match and series

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The Independent Online
PHYSICALLY and emotionally drained by their incessant geographically diverse round of one-day internationals over the last four months the cricketers of Pakistan and the West Indies now have a welcome respite to prepare themselves for their series of three Tests.

The first starts in Port of Spain on April 15, followed by the other two, back-to-back in Barbados and Antigua. Both teams could do with the leisurely interlude.

Since December the two have met each other 13 times in limited-overs matches in 11 cities in Australia, South Africa and the Caribbean. Pakistan have also had a couple of matches in New Zealand and Sharjah. They must have been thoroughly sick of it all but, somehow, they managed to produce a real classic in their last match here on Saturday. It was a pulsating, fluctuating contest that ended with the scores level amidst the chaos and confusion of a crowd invasion just as the last stroke was played by Ian Bishop for the crucial tying runs.

Under match regulations the West Indies should have been winners on the ground that they lost fewer wickets - five to Pakistan's six - but, in the peculiar circumstances that the onrushing hordes impeded Pakistan's efforts to effect a run out, the International Cricket Council referee, Raman Subba Row, ruled the game tied leaving the five-match series locked 2-2. There was hardly a murmur of protest from the thousands that had filled the small Bourda ground to overflowing when the decision was announced.

The match emphasised what is obvious on paper but had not been evident in the recent record. The teams are extremely evenly matched in spite of the fact that Pakistan had lost nine in succession prior to their recovery in the last three matches here.

They were beaten in 13 of their 16 one-day internationals following their World Cup triumph a year ago. Their public and, therefore, their selectors, do not take a sympathetic view of such reversals and there have been sweeping personnel changes.

Wasim Akram replaced Javed Miandad as captain and Salim Malik, a quality batsman with an average of 44 in his 72 Tests, was dumped. Four newcomers were picked, one strictly on the evidence of his bowling in the nets. Pakistan have a boldness uncommon in international cricket and it has been quickly rewarded.

Two of their outstanding players on this tour have been Basit Ali, 22, and Aamer Nazir, 21, both on their first tours. Basit has played with the assurance and inventive style of his mentor and long-time coach, Miandad, in scoring more runs than anyone else in the series. Nazir, a boyish youngster from Lahore has yet to appear in a first-class match and was chosen only because Akram liked the look of him at practice. He is still raw and stutters to get his run-up right, but his first international wickets have been Desmond Haynes and Brian Lara twice, Richie Richardson and Carl Hooper.

The psychological balance which favoured the West Indies after eight consecutive wins in Port of Spain, has shifted in the last week. When, in the fourth match, the West Indies rattled up 259 for 4 off 45 overs, reducing the Pakistanis to a rabble in the field, Akram Wasim faced his first potential crisis as captain.

A brilliant batting response, paced by Inzamam-ul-Haq's unbeaten 90 and aided by West Indian complacency, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and instantly restored Pakistani self-belief.

There is nothing to separate two sides and a Test series as intriguing as the one-day variety just concluded is definitely a prospect.

PAKISTAN

Aamir Sohail c and b Ambrose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33

Ramiz Raja c and b Hooper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Inzamam-ul-Haq lbw b Walsh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53

Javed Miandad lbw b Cummins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Basit Ali c Murray b Walsh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57

* Wasim Akram not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

] Rashid Latif c sub (Arthurton) b Bishop . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Extras (b 1 lb 6 w 6 nb 6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

Total (for 6, 50 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .244

Fall: 1-66 2-76 3-85 4-188 5-189 6-244.

Did not bat: Asif Mujtaba, Waqar Younis, Aamir Nazir, Ata-ur-Rehman.

Bowling: Bishop 10-0-62-1; Simmons 2-0-20-0; Walsh 10- 0-46-2; Ambrose 10-1-44-1; Hooper 10-0-28-1; Cummins 8- 0-37-1.

WEST INDIES

D L Haynes lbw b Waqar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82

B C Lara b Nazir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

P V Simmons run out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

* R B Richardson st Latif b Sohail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

C L Hooper not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69

A L Logie b Akram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

I R Bishop not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Extras (lb 13 w 5 nb 3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Total (for 5, 50 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .244

Fall: 1-24 2-54 3-117 4-223 5-228.

Did not bat: J R Murray, C E L Ambrose, C A Walsh, A C Cummins.

Bowling: Akram 10-1-50-1; Waqar 10-0-54-1; Rehman 8-0- 39-0; Nazir 8-0-28-1; Sohail 10-1-42-1; Mujtaba 4-0-18-0.

MATCH TIED; SERIES DRAWN 2-2

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