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Taufeeq Umar Puts Pakistan in Strong Position Against West Indies

Posted by on Monday, May 23, 2011, 10:56
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Taufeeq Umar moved to within reach of his fifth Test hundred, and allowed Pakistan to stamp their authority in the second Test against West Indies on Sunday.

Taufeeq Umar
Taufeeq Umar

The Pakistani opener hit a chancy, undefeated 97 to anchor the visitors to 202 for three in their second innings – an overall lead of 251 – at the close on the third day at Warner Park.

Taufeeq struck 10 boundaries from 231 balls in close to four hours of batting to fortify Pakistan’s position, after they dismissed West Indies for 223 before lunch to grab a first innings lead of 49.

Left-hander Taufeeq, however, lived a charmed life, surviving three chances before the West Indies appealed for a caught behind off West Indies captain Darren Sammy from the final ball of the day.

Taufeeq shared 82 for the first wicket with Mohammad Hafeez to lay the platform, and built on it in a 76-run second wicket stand with Azhar Ali before West Indies claimed two wickets.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq joined Taufeeq, and they batted through a little more than an hour to further frustrate West Indies.

Taufeeq was one, when he edged Kemar Roach to first slip, where Darren Bravo dropped a straightforward offering, and on 13, he edged the same bowler to second slip, where West Indies captain Darren Sammy put him down.

He reached his 50 from 82 balls, when he tugged a delivery from leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo through mid-on for a single.

But he was very fortunate on 56, when he advanced to a flighted delivery from Bishoo, missed a flick, and the ball ricocheted from the pad. This wrong-footed West Indies wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr, and he failed to gather to effect a difficult stumping chance, with the batsman stranded.

After Taufeeq and Hafeez carried Pakistan to 55 without loss at lunch, Sammy made the breakthrough for West Indies.

Hafeez drove loosely at an off-cutter, and was bowled off the inside-edge for 32.

Azhar came to the crease, and announced himself with an on-drive off Sammy for his first boundary, and was the perfect foil for Taufeeq, taking Pakistan to 131 for one at tea.

After the break, they continued to extend Pakistan’s advantage before Azhar, whose innings contained half-dozen fours from 90 balls in close to three hours, was caught at slip off Bishoo, top-edging a late cut, and Asad Shafiq was caught behind off Roach for four.

Earlier, Pakistan were frustrated, as West Indies, starting the day on 184 for eight, extended their innings for about 1 ยผ hours into the morning period thanks to their tail-enders.

Hafeez made the breakthrough however, when he trapped Roach lbw playing back and across for a career-best 29, following a valuable 60-run stand for the ninth wicket with Rampaul.

Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan’s most penetrative bowler in the brief series, brought the innings to a close, when Devendra Bishoo edged a forward defensive shot, and was caught at slip for one.

Hafeez was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers, finishing with a career-best three for 23 from eight overs, fellow off-spinner Ajmal ended with three for 56 off 28.5 overs, and left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman captured two for 55 from 29 overs.

The visitors trail 0-1 in the two-Test series, following a 40-run defeat inside four days in the first Test, which ended last Sunday at the Guyana National Stadium, crushing their dreams of a maiden Test series victory in the Caribbean.

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