Second Test: Collymore keeps Pakistan in check

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The Independent Online

It is a sign of the times that Corey Collymore, a good, honest bowler of no more than fast-medium pace with 19 spasmodic Tests to his name, should be spearheading the West Indies bowling in a Test.

It is a sign of the times that Corey Collymore, a good, honest bowler of no more than fast-medium pace with 19 spasmodic Tests to his name, should be spearheading the West Indies bowling in a Test.

With negligible support from the other three bowlers in an attack, as always, based on pace but bearing no resemblance to the awesome quartets that Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards once had at their disposal, it was left to Collymore to keep Pakistan's total within manageable proportions on the first two days of the Second and final Test.

He finished with 7 for 78 from 27.3 overs as Pakistan were all out for 374 an hour before lunch yesterday.

On a pitch showing evidence of inconsistent bounce it was an imposing total and, after a frenetic start to the West Indies reply, Abdul Razzaq, a bowler similar in speed and method to Collymore, dismissed the left-handed openers either side of lunch. Chris Gayle went to a keeper's catch for 33, after a six and six fours, while Devon Smith fell, for 25, fell to a shooter that took off-stump. It took a tenacious partnership between Ramna-resh Sarwan and Brian Lara, worth 103 at tea, to steady the innings. Sarwan was 35 and Lara 67 with the West Indies 162 for 2.

After a watchful start, Lara stepped out to lash the leg-spinner Danish Kaneria for two sixes off successive balls that landed in the celebrating party stand at long-on, and arrived at his half-century off 77 balls. When the fast bowler Rana Naved, who went for 22 in his opening two overs, was brought back, Lara greeted him with three successive boundaries in his first over. Sarwan was less assured against Kaneria, off whom he was missed at 25 by Younis Khan, diving to his right at silly mid-off.

In a spell of 11 consecutive overs the previous afternoon, seemingly unhindered by a sore shoulder sustained fielding in the First Test, Collymore changed the course of Pakistan's innings with 3 for 33 as they subsided from 247 for 3 to 336 for 6.

He continued where he left off overnight, claiming three more wickets. In only his third Test, against Sri Lanka two years ago, he had a return of 7 for 57, so he now joins the eminent company of Malcolm Marshall (three times) and Curtly Ambrose, Lance Gibbs and Andy Roberts as West Indians who have had more than one innings return of seven wickets.

There was evidence of the increasingly unreliable bounce at the southern end when Kamran Akmal, the little wicketkeeper, took a sickening blow on the box from Daren Powell that required on-field attention and delayed play for at least five minutes. Once he recovered, he carried his overnight 24 to 49 only to be lbw to one from Powell at the same end that kept down low. In between, the No 9, Rana Naved, was rapped on the gloves by a sharp lifter from Powell that forced him to retire temporarily.

Collymore did not need such help for his successes at the opposite end. He brought the sixth ball of the day sharply back into Abdul Razzaq for a clear-cut lbw decision from Darrel Hair, and wasted no time in dispatching the tailenders Shabbir Ahmed and Kaneria.

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