Mohammad Yousuf struck yet another ton, his 22nd of his career and the eight in the year 2006, but his side is in deep trouble at 257 for 7 at stumps on day 1 of the third and final Test at Karachi. West Indies have done the right things at the right time to keep their hopes alive in drawing this 3-Test Series. With Kamran Akmal still at the crease, West Indies will have to get rid of him and the tail quickly and then bat well to seize this opportunity.
On a dry Karachi wicket, Inzamam-ul-Haq did the correct thing electing to bat first after winning the toss. His side was unchanged whereas West Indies had brought back Ramnaresh Sarwan but at the expense of the lone specialist spinner Dave Mohammed. It was a nervy start from the homeside going in to lunch at 88 for 2. The first casualty of the day was Mohammad Hafeez bowled through the gate by a Collymore indipper in the 10th over. Just when a partnership was building between Imran Farhat and Younis Khan, Daren Powell in his follow through affected a terrific run out to send back Younis Khan who made 20.
Imran Farhat continued his second test match form and along with Mohammad Yousuf steadied the ship for a while before falling almost immediately after the lunch break. Farhat as usual went hard at the ball outside the offstump to present Dwayne Bravo a wicket. Farhat fell short of his fifty by three runs. Skipper Inzamam who wasn’t in the best of the nicks got a partnership rolling with Yousuf but it was just for around 24 overs before Inzamam had holed down to mid off against the part time off breaks of Daren Ganga. The Pakistan Skipper could make 18 having faced 64 balls. Mohammad Yousuf continued to get a pocket size partnership with the next man as well, Shoaib Malik. It was Jerome Taylor who struck with a reverse swinging inswinger to trap Shoaib Malik in the 67th over to reduce Pakistan to 222 for 5.
The magical moment for the tourists came in the 77th over when Mohammad Yousuf paid penalty of going for the pull on this low bounce track to be dead in front of the stumps to Collymore. West Indies had earlier dropped Yousuf when he was on 63 with the culprit being Denesh Ramdin who had dropped an outside edge produced by Chris Gayle. Yousuf had added another 39 runs after that life. The last wicket to fall in the day’s play was that of Abdul Razzaq who was forced to nick one from Dwayne Bravo.
Kamran Akmal who is on 18 holds the key for Pakistan, he will have to get the lower order to rally around him in the morning session. It may not be that easy for Windies to rap up the Pakistan innings as they have just the one fast bowler in Jerome Taylor. This is one golden chance for West Indies to grab with both hands with the homeside in a bad position.