Over the years, the contest between West Indies and Pakistan especially in Tests have become less attractive as both teams have fallen down the ladder in the longest format. The enigma of sheer talent and raw skill remains unchanged with both teams despite the changing vagaries of the sport. And while the current series featuring Two Tests may have big names on either sides- Babar Azam and Yasir Shah and Jason Holder and Kraigg Brathwaite, to give an example, but will two equally unpredictable sides give us a series to remember?
Pakistan in West Indies -1957-58 – West Indies -3 Pakistan -1 Draw -0
The first series between both the sides was played in the Caribbean; the series saw number of the records. A young Hanif Mohammad batted for sixteen and half hours to make massive 337. West Indies returned the favour as a 21-year-old Garry Sobers made a record breaking 365. A series which was well fought was won by West Indies by 3-1.
West Indies in Pakistan – 1958-59 – West Indies- 1 Pakistan -2 Draw- 0
Next year West Indies toured Pakistan and the series was closely fought between both the sides. West Indies has had a great tour of subcontinent where a young team had performed well in India and later in Pakistan. While the team lost the first test, the second test at Dhaka was a nail biter with Wes Hall and Fazal Mehmood starring in a 41 run Pakistan win. Pakistan was gunned down for only 145 but a majestic Fazal took 6-34 to blow West Indies for 72, While Wes Hall ensured that West Indies chase only 214 but it proved too much for them in final innings as despite all the effort, they were out for 172.
3. West Indies in Pakistan – 1974-75 – West Indies- 0 Pakistan -0 Draw- 2
West Indies and Pakistan played their next series only 15 years, the two-test series ended in a dull draw.
Pakistan in West Indies – 1976-77 – West Indies – 2 Pakistan -1 Draw -2
The series marked an unheralded era of next 17 years (1976-1993) where world’s two most powerful bowling line- ups were involved in a fascinating battle. The series winner was only decided on the final day of the series when West Indies won the final Test by 140 runs. Colin Craft took 33 wickets in the series bowling some of the most hostile spells.
West Indies in Pakistan – 1980-81- West Indies – 1 Pakistan 0- Draw – 3
A tour which was completely dominated by West Indies begun at the time when West Indies supremacy on World Cricket had just begun. Pakistan had prepared turning tracks to negate the West Indian pace bowling but couldn’t stop them from dominating the series. The pacers took 54 off 66 wickets that fell in the Test series and never let the home side get off the hook. While the rain marred 3 out of 4 Tests but there was tense battle mainly between West Indian pacers and Pakistani spinners. The second Test at Faislabad in December winters was a bright evident of how Tests between Pakistan and West Indies use to be. At Faislabad West Indies batted first but were out for only 235 as they were bamboozled by home team spinners. However, the pacers put Pakistan on mat by shooting them out for only 176, West Indies made 242 in second innings and set tough target of 302 for Pakistan. Their batsmen however couldn’t cope up with Marshall and Croft’s hostile pace, the duo took 7 wickets as Pakistan were blown out for 145, losing the test by 156 runs.
The third Test which was panning in a low score thriller (Pakistan had scored 128 and West Indies 169 in their first innings by the end Pakistan had 204-9 with lead of 163 runs) but was spoiled by rain.
Rain again played spoilsport in fourth Test which was also turning out to be a close one ( West Indies made 249 in first innings and bowled Pakistan for 166 to get lead of 83 and were 116-5 in second innings with lead of 199). Nonetheless Clive Lloyd’s men won a historic series, their first and till date the only Test series victory on Pakistan’s soil.
West Indies in Pakistan 1986-87 – West Indies – 1 Pakistan -1 draw – 1
A young Pakistani team defied West Indies a series win and also shot down the world’s best team for 53, their lowest Test score but had to face the wrath in rest of the series. At Gaddafi Stadium the home side could not stand the pace and aggression of the visitors as they skittled down for 77 only, their lowest at home. By the time Third Test had begun in late November of 1986, West Indies had returned to form, they have won the ODI Series by 4-1 and Test series was locked at 1-1. At National Stadium, West Indies through their bowling prowess had put Pakistan on mat. In the second session of the final day of the test, when Asif Mujtaba was caught one handed by a flying Duzon, Pakistan were down to 95-7 chasing 213. West Indies were on verge of becoming the first team to win a Test at Karachi but a defiant Imran Khan and Tauseef Ahmed batted bravely in the final session and with some aid from bad light they saved the day for home team as series ended for 1-1.
Pakistan in West Indies 1987-88 – West Indies -1, Pakistan -1 , Draw -1
Termed as one of the finest series of all times in history of the game, this series was billed as tussle between no.1 and no.2 of its time, West Indies who were termed as best were playing in their backyard and were favourites but Imran’s men were considered the second best in World and fought hard in the series to present an absorbing Test series. After losing the ODI series by 5-0 , they won the first test, Pakistan gave West Indies a scare when chasing 372 in second Test they ended up with 341-9. By the time the third Test began the proud record of West Indies looked under threat and with 207-8 chasing 266 to win , Pakistan was favourite to win but Jeff Duzon and Winston Benjamin secured a miraculous win for the home side adding 61 runs. West Indies not only secured a draw (1-1) but saved their record of being unbeaten in a Test series since 1979-80 and unbeaten in home series since 1972-73.
West Indies in Pakistan 1990-91 – West Indies -1, Pakistan -1, Draw -1
The series was billed as Championship of World Cricket and provided some intense cricket, Pakistan won the first Test handsomely but West Indies bounced back in the second Test to make it 1-1. By the third Test the visitors were all over home side. A Carl Hooper hundred and devastating spell from Curtly Ambrose and Ian Bishop set Pakistan 346 and by the start of the fifth day, Pakistan were 110-4, looking down at heavy loss before Imran once again came to rescue like he did 4 years ago. With Masood Anwar (37 of 128 balls) he batted out for 292 minutes to help Pakistan save a draw.
Pakistan in West Indies 1992-93 – West Indies -2, Pakistan -0 , Draw -1
What was touted as an exciting series between two of the world’s best bowling units turned out to be one sided affair with West Indies winning the series 2-0, it was possibly the last high quality series between the two great sides. The West Indies Empire ended in 1995 and since they have been a mid ranked Test team only while Pakistan slide began after 2004 and they have never gained the same kind of panache to their side.
West Indies in Pakistan 2006-07 – West Indies- 0, Pakistan -2, Draw -1
In spite of the heroic of Brian Lara, Pakistan won the series comfortably by 2-0 thereby ruining further West Indies record in Pakistan.
West Indies in Pakistan 2016-17 (in UAE) – West Indies 1 Pakistan 2 Draw 0
West Indies won an away Test against Pakistan after 26 years and this was a great moment even though they had lost the series by 2-1.
Pakistan in West Indies 2017 – West Indies 1 Pakistan 2 Draw 0
Pakistan created history on their visit to Caribbean in 2017 as they registered their first ever series victory in the West Indies.
Pakistan in West Indies 2021 – 2 Test Series – Results awaited
The world has changed a lot since the days of the great rivalry between Pakistan and West Indies, which was at its prime during 1977-1993. Both teams are now midfielders in a table that boasts of outfits with more illustrious Test runs. Moreover, one doesn’t see how excess of white-ball cricket will afford Tests between the two nations to once again, return to the days of the yore . Perhaps that is one of the reasons as to why the 3 Test-series was cut to 2. Moreover, with both PSL and CPL being successful T20 leagues has led to a cultural shift in the game on both ends.
How do the two stack up against one other?
- Mohammad Yousuf – 1214 Runs in 8 Matches at an average of 101.16
- Brian Lara – 1173 Runs in 12 Matches at an average of 53.31
- Imran Khan – 80 Wickets in 18 Matches at an average of 21.18
- Wasim Akram – 79 Wickets in 17 Matches at an average of 20.82
- Courtney Walsh – 63 Wickets in 18 Matches at an average of 23.04
Most Dismissals by Wicketkeepers
- Garry Alexander – 29 Dismissals in 8 Matches at 3.62 dismissals per match
- Kamran Akmal- 25 Dismissals in 5 Matches at 5.00 dismissals per match