Redoubtable Guyanese run-machine Shivnarine Chanderpaul (126 not out) enjoyed very good batting returns in the first innings of the drawn Second Test against New Zealand at McClean Park, Napier on December 20.
|Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been the mainstay in the West Indies batting lineup.|
Through those exploits, West Indies were able to push for a draw and level the two-match series 0-0, three days later.
However, no team can claim the edge. But Chanderpaul’s batting heroics played a crucial role in helping the West Indies to remain unbeaten in the two-match series, the second time not to have lost away from home, after West Indies had surrendered the Sir Frank Worrell Trophy to Mark Taylor’s Australia at Sabina Park in 1985.
His Guyanese compatriot Carl Llewellyn Hooper had led the WI team to victory over Zimbabwe in the 2001 series on the South African continent.
In that series; Christopher Gayle got his maiden Test century, 175, in the first innings of the First Test against the Zimbabweans at Harare. And with Daren Ganga (89) as his opening partner, they posted 214 for the first wicket partnership while skipper Hooper made an attractive 149 as West Indies amassed 559 for 5 declared.
Zimbabwe lost the match by an innings and 176 runs after they were bowled out for 155 (Reon King 4 for 51, Pedro Collins 2 for 29, Colin Stuart 3 for 45) and 228 (King 2 for 47, Stuart 3 for 45 and Neil McGarrell 4 for 38).
Playing his 114 Tests and in his 196th innings against New Zealand at Napier; Chanderpaul’s indomitable batting spirit saw him through to his 20th Test and to become the most successful Guyanese Test centurion of all-time.
He surpassed two West Indian legends Clive Lloyd and opener Gordon Greenidge who finished their illustrious career with 19 centuries each.
With the unbeaten century, the pugnacious left-hander had climbed into the fifties with his overall Test average but the duck in the second innings pushed it just below that mark; currently at 49.71; which is also better than both Lloyd and Greenidge’s overall Test averages.
Lloyd appeared in 110 Tests and amassed 7 515 runs in 175 innings for an average of 46.67, including 19 centuries and 39 fifties, while Greenidge played in 108 Tests and tallied 7 525 runs in 185 innings for an average of 44.72, including 19 centuries and 34 fifties.
In the second test of the two-match series against New Zealand at Napier, Chanderpaul staged the recovery for the WI team after it was in a perilous state at 74 for 4 at one stage. He featured in a match saving 163-run fifth wicket partnership with newcomer Brendan Nash (74) and rallied the lower order to a first innings total of 307.
Only Brian Lara with 34 Test centuries, Sir Gary Sobers (26) and Sir Vivian Richards (24) are ahead of him among West Indian Test centurions.
Chanders became the first West Indian and twelfth player to score a triple-figure mark at McClean Park.
He failed in the second innings, with a first ball duck, but took his overall Test aggregate to 8 203.
With the century (126*) and naught (0), Chanderpaul became the new world record holder, having now achieved that unique milestone in three separate Test matches. Previously, he had scored 118 and 0 versus England at Bourda in 1998 and then had 0 and 109 versus South Africa at Kingsmead in 2008.
Chanders had shared that record with three other West Indians and ten other players. Sir Gary Sobers was the first West Indian to register a century and naught, twice in Tests. The legendary strokeplayer had 0 and 113 not out versus England at Sabina Park in 1968 and, three years later, repeated against India with 132 and 0 at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Sir Vivian Richards was next with 0 and 182 not out versus Australia at Kensington Oval in 1981 plus 208 and 0 versus Australia at Melbourne in 1984. He was followed by Desmond Haynes with 0 and 122 versus New Zealand at AMI ground in 1980 and 0 and 119 versus England at Kensington Oval in 1990.
The others who registered the feat twice are Australians, Sir Donald Bradman and Adam Gilchrist; Englishmen Colin Cowdrey, Mike Gatting and Michael Vaughan; Indians Vijay Manjrekar and Sachin Tendulkar; Pakistanis Asif Iqbal and Imtiaz Ahmed plus South Africans Gary Kirsten and Darryl Cullinan.
The other West Indians to make their mark in only one Test match are Ivan Barrow with 105 and 0 versus England at Old Trafford in 1933; Gerry Alexander with 0 and 108 versus Australia at Sydney in 1961; Seymour Nurse with 201 and 0 versus Australia at Kensington Oval in 1965; Charlie Davis with 103 and 0 versus England at Lords in 1969; Alvin Isaac Kallicharran with 0 and 103 not out versus India at the QP Oval in 1976; Roy Clinton Fredericks with 0 and 138 versus England at Lords in 1976; Richie Richardson 104 and 0 versus England at Edgbaston in 1991; Keith Arthurton with 157 not out and 0 versus Australia at Brisbane in 1992; Carl Hooper with 0 and 106 versus Pakistan at National Stadium, Karachi in 1997; Sherwin Campbell with 170 and 0 versus New Zealand at Westpac in 1999; Daren Ganga with 0 and 113 versus Australia at Bourda in 2003 plus Brian Lara with 153 and 0 versus Pakistan at Sabina Park in 2005.
For the records, Chanderpaul not only set a new world record but also became the third West Indian to achieve the feat against New Zealand. Barbadian openers Haynes and Campbell preceded him to a major milestone which brought special joy (when the century was recorded) and acute disappointment (when they failed) to the players depending on the occasion.
Chanderpaul played in the 1 900th Test match and his 126 and 0 marks the 131st time it has happened to a player in a Test match.
With the undefeated hundred, Chanderpaul earned enough points not only to retain the ICC Reliance Mobile Test rankings number one position, but to increase to 900, thus becoming the 25th batsman and sixth West Indian to attain a 900-point rating.
The other West Indians are Sir Clyde Walcott (938 points), Sir Gary Sobers (938) and Sir Vivian Richards (938), all three “Cricketing Knights” bracketed together in sixth position in the all-time list. They are followed by the other “Cricketing Knight” Sir Everton Weekes (927) in 13th position; George Headley (915) in 21st spot and Brian Charles Lara (911) surprisingly in 23rd position.
With Lara claiming the world highest individual score on two separate occasions (375 in 1994 and the current record of 400 not out in 2004 against the Englishmen at the ARG or any of his career nine double centuries would have been enough for a higher rating.
What about his match-winning 213 at Sabina (Second Test) which was followed by another match-winning unbeaten 153 at Kensington Oval (Third Test) to be followed by yet another hurricane century at the ARG (Fourth Test), all against the all-conquering Australians in the consecutive Tests of the 1999 series definitely would have elicited a much higher rating than the 911.
The rankers have shown their true colours and gives the impression that the system is fraught with a clear bias towards certain players. The whole exercise is really subjective and will always be open for discussion and debate.
Chanderpaul’s main challenger is Australian Michael Hussey, but he did not have very good returns against the South Africans, who crushed them by six wickets in the First Test at the WACA ground, Perth.
The 34-year-old West Indian stalwart will definitely hold on to the topmost position unless Hussey finds his form and produces a significant triple-figure score to help the Aussies to save face by either winning the Second Test at the MCG or even draw it.
The Aussies ego and pride must have been deflated after the South Africans registered the second highest successful run chase achieve ever. The South Africans scored 414 for four wickets in the fourth innings of the match and took an important 1-0 lead of the three-match series.
West Indies holds that world record for the highest fourth innings chase which was also achieved against the Australians. WI won the gripping encounter by three wickets at the Antigua Recreation ground in 2003. Guyanese stalwarts Chanderpaul (104) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (105) scored decisive centuries in the crucial fourth innings while Barbadian Vasbert Drakes (27 not out) and Anguillean Omari Banks (47 not out) sparked wild celebrations following the historic and improbable victory at 418 for seven wickets.
Source: Barbados Advocate