Windies end first day on 209 for 9

Georgetown, Guyana, CMC – West Indies were undermined by high-class spin bowling on the opening day of the first Digicel Test against Pakistan on Thursday.


None of the batsmen came to terms with the Pakistani spin bowlers, with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal the most successful with 4-63 runs from 29 overs, as West Indies choosing to bat, reached 209-9 in their first innings at the close.


Off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez ended with 2-22 from 13 overs, and left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman finished with 2-46 from 26 overs to complete the demolition job.


Several West Indies batsmen got starts, but none carried on – Lendl Simmons defied injury to lead the way with 49, Shiv Chanderpaul supported with 27, Darren Bravo scored 25, and Ramnaresh Sarwan made 23.


Greeted by a Guyana National Stadium pitch that offered the spinners appreciable turn and bounce, the West Indies batsmen were tormented from the very start, when Hafeez shared the new ball with Umar Gul.


Bravo battled with Simmons, making solid if not spectacular progress, helping West Indies recover from the shaky start to reach 66-1 at lunch. West Indies ran into further problems, when they lost two wickets and Simmons to injury after the interval to reach 131-3  at tea.


The left-handed Bravo was lbw playing across the line to Wahab for 25, and two overs later, Simmons was forced to retire hurt on 41, after being struck on his left knee with a delivery from Wahab Riaz.


Chanderpaul joined Ramnaresh Sarwan, and West Indies’ two most experienced batsman batted resolutely for an hour-and-a-half, and consolidated with a stand of 46 for the third wicket, but Sarwan was caught behind off Rehman inside the last 10 minutes before tea.


After tea, Brendan Nash was trapped lbw for five playing back to the off-spinner, who four overs later, also trapped Carlton Baugh lbw plumb in front on the back-foot for four, leaving the home team 142-5.


Darren Sammy was fortunate not to have been stumped off Ajmal on four but the West Indies captain failed to make use of the opportunity, and was dismissed when Abdur Rehman had him caught at deep mid-on for 12 off the leading edge.


Three overs later, Chanderpaul was bowled between bat and pad by Ajmal, who also removed Simmons lbw after the West Indies opener resumed his innings at the fall of Sammy’s wicket with Bravo as runner.


This exposed the West Indies tail, but they showed some fight before Ravi Rampaul was lbw to Hafeez for 14, and Kemar Roach and Devendra Bishoo held firm to ensure the host were not dismissed on the opening day.

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