Inzamam hits hundred but Best blitz keeps West Indies in hunt

PAKISTAN 374 & 307-9
WEST INDIES 404

Crucially dropped by the wicketkeeper Courtney Browne off his first ball the previous day and reprieved when caught by Browne off a no-ball on 92, Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq completed his 22nd Test hundred before lunch on the fourth day of the second and final Test yesterday. But four wickets by fast bowler Tino Best, three in successive overs, dragged the West Indies back into contention just when Inzamam and overnight partner Shahid Afridi were putting the match out of reach.

Crucially dropped by the wicketkeeper Courtney Browne off his first ball the previous day and reprieved when caught by Browne off a no-ball on 92, Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq completed his 22nd Test hundred before lunch on the fourth day of the second and final Test yesterday. But four wickets by fast bowler Tino Best, three in successive overs, dragged the West Indies back into contention just when Inzamam and overnight partner Shahid Afridi were putting the match out of reach.

Inzamam's unbeaten 115 at lunch placed him only one behind Javed Miandad's 23 Test hundreds, the most by a Pakistani. Batting for three hours, 50 minutes, he hit 14 fours from his 188 balls. Pakistan were 307 for nine at the first interval, ahead by 277 and the contest still in the balance.

Inzamam and Afridi batted through the first 45 minutes after Pakistan resumed at 223 for four, extending their partnership to 73 against a lacklustre West Indies. It took the introduction of the aggressive Best, previously wicketless in the match, to change the course of the innings.

His second ball drew a careless stroke from the dangerous Afridi that provided a comfortable catch to midwicket. Afridi's run-a-ball 43 included a pulled six in fast bowler Daren Powell's first over of the day and his dismissal set off a collapse in which five wickets fell for 40 before lunch.

In his second over, Best breached Abdul Razzaq's defence with a ball that cut back sharply to take off stump and in his next removed Kamran Akmal to a catch by Browne.

One run later, Reon King forced Rana Naved to chop a short delivery into his stumps and the medium-pacer would have ended Inzamam's innings eight short of his hundred when he found his edge for Browne to belatedly atone. Inzamam was on his way to the pavilion when West Indies fielders drew his attention to umpire Darrell Hair's no-ball call.

It allowed the captain to shield tailend partners, Shabbir Ahmed and Danish Kaneria, in boosting the score by 27 by lunch although neither contributed a run. Shabbir received only five balls but stayed to see Inzamam reach his hundred before falling to Browne's catch off Best. Last man Kaneria faced one delivery as Inzamam continued to add to the score.

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