Gayle, Ganga put Windies in command
Chris Gayle and Daren Ganga forged an undefeated opening stand of 151 for the West Indies to cap a miserable day for Pakistan on day two of the second Test on Monday.
Gayle (87) and Ganga (59) posted the first century opening stand for the West Indies in 20 Tests in Pakistan after the home side were bowled out for 357 with paceman Jerome Taylor taking 5-91.
Taylor’s second five-wicket haul was bagged with Pakistan losing their last six wickets for 94 runs to the second new ball after resuming on 263-4 in the morning.
Gayle and Ganga, who played out the last two sessions, put their team in a rare position of strength with patient half centuries as the bowlers struggled on a flat track.
Gayle scored his 26th half century from 101 balls with seven fours and Ganga his eighth from 123 balls with nine fours.
Gayle, despite displaying admirable patience, still played some spanking shots as he closed in on his first century since April 2005 when he made 317 against South Africa in Antigua.
It was the fifth time the two have posted a century opening partnership.
Left hander Gayle greeted off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez with a huge six to mid-wicket and two fours in his first over.
Gayle also picked runs off leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, driving him with ease through the covers.
Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said the home side needed to break the partnership in the first 90 minutes or the visitors would dominate.
“The first 90 minutes would be crucial. The pitch has eased out but I give credit to Gayle and Ganga for batting with unusual patience,” Woolmer said.
Earlier, Taylor and Corey Collymore brought back their team into the match with some disciplined bowling and Pakistan never recovered after captain Inzamam ul-Haq was out in the third over of the day for 31 to a beautiful ball that nipped away and was caught by Danesh Ramdin.
Last man Kaneria was run out for a duck off the final ball before the lunch interval.
Collymore, who bowled 31 overs in the innings and deserved more than the two wickets he got for 67 runs, had Shoaib Malik (42) and Kamran Akmal (17) caught by Dwayne Bravo in the slips.
Malik was dropped twice on 14 and 20 off Collymore.
Taylor cleaned up the tail by adding the wickets of Shahid Nazir and Umar Gul.
“Taylor got the ball to bounce and swing with the new ball and our batsmen faced problems,” Woolmer added.—Reuters.