Captain Sammy leads West Indies to victory

The West Indies cricket team have something to cheer about after bowling over Pakistan in their first Test.

    Darren Sammy clenches his fist to celebrate a crucial win for West Indies cricket [AFP]

    West Indies captain Darren Sammy took 5-29 to spur his team to an emotional 40-run victory over Pakistan in the opening Test on Sunday in Guyana.

    The West Indies took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series with the second Test beginning next Friday at Warner Park in St. Kitts.

    The 27-year-old Sammy, in his fourth Test as captain, was thrilled about claiming his first victory.

    "It's a good feeling. This is all about West Indies crifcket. We, as a team, needed that performance."

    Tricky wicket

    Sammy identified his team's spirited lower order batting on the third day as a key factor in a tense match.

    "I have to commend the effort from the boys, every single person that batted on that hard wicket, from the partnership by (Devendra) Bishoo and Shiv (Chanderpaul) right down at the end, it showed it was a total team effort to come out on the winning side of things."

    Bishoo and Chanderpaul pulled the hosts from the mire of 104-9 in their second innings with a last wicket stand of 48 to set Pakistan a testing target.

    "We saw from day one the wicket was quite difficult," Sammy added.

    Sammy said the secret to his own success with the ball was straightforward.

    "It was to bowl straight and I think we stuck to that throughout the test match and hence we came out victorious."

    He said self-belief helped him get through a bit of a lean period to inspire this success.

    "I know lately things have not been going too well for me but I still have the belief and my team-mates still have belief in me to go out there and do well. Today, I showed that once you believe you can achieve."

    Praise from Pakistan

    Pakistani skipper Misbah-ul-Haq paid tribute to the hosts' bowlers after a morale-sapping loss.

    "To lose a test match is always disappointing. But I think they played better cricket than us," he said.

    "Especially they bowled really disciplined lines and most of the times, they got out the batsmen by good

    Rampaul gave the hosts a dazzling start when he removed Asad Shafiq in the third over of the day. Shafiq, who on Saturday helped Misbah fashion a restorative fourth wicket partnership worth 81, was bowled by a delivery that nipped back a long way.

    "This is all about West Indies cricket. We, as a team, needed that performance"

    West Indies captain Darren Sammy

    Misbah found another solid ally in Akmal and the pair added a further 52 to tilt the balance back to Pakistan.

    The 27-year-old Sammy ended that resistance with a double strike that brought his side right back into the contest.

    Misbah, who hit six fours and one six during 162 deliveries and 218 minutes at the crease, was leg before wicket to another one that cut back in.

    The captain, sensing the importance of his wicket, sought a reprieve on the Decision Review System, but was unsuccessful.

    Sammy strikes

    Two balls later, Sammy was leaping in delight again as wicket-keeper Mohammad Salman was also lbw, the 18th such dismissal in the match.

    That figure broke the record for most lbws in a match, the previous mark of 17 also between these teams at Port-of-Spain's Queen's Park Oval, back in 1993.

    Akmal and Abdur Rehman, who added 50 in the first innings, stopped the rot in an stand of 25 either side of the lunch.

    But Rampaul returned after the break with a decisive strike to pry out Rehman for 6. The left-hander edged a drive to second slip where Devon Smith pouched a fine, low catch.

    Sammy then took over with his probing wicket-to-wicket line proving too much for the tourists.

    Umar Gul played across the line and was lbw, and the same fate ended the defiance of Akmal, Pakistans last realistic hope, making it 20 lbw in the match.

    Wahab Riaz threw his bat briefly in an unbeaten 11 but Sammy wrapped up the match when he rattled the stumps of last man Saeed Ajmal with yet another pinpoint indipper.

    Sammy's performance earned him the Man of the Match ahead of Ajmal, whose 11-111 kept Pakistan in the hunt.



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