Bacchus Hits Superb 204
BACCHUS' SUPERB 204 KEEPS WI HOPES ALIVE - NIGHTWATCHMAN JUMADEEN HITS 56
By RAJENDRA BAJPAI
KANPUR, INDIA, Tuesday. [Reuter-CANA] FAOUD BACCHUS played the finest innings of his career here today. hitting a superb 204 not out to keep the West Indies hopes alive and give his team every chance of saving the sixth Test against India.
Mainly due to his timely rescue act, the touring team had reached 373 for four when bad light stopped play 50 minutes early on the fourth day of a high-scoring match that seems destined to end in a draw despite the fact it is being played over six days. The lifeless Green Park pitch has produced more than 1,000 runs scored so far for the loss of only 11 wickets, and broken the heart of every bowler.
Bacchus' brilliant innings boosted the sagging morale of the West Indians, who are already one down in the six-Test series. Team manager Joe Solomon said his performance had changed the context of the match. The West Indies now need only 72 more runs to avoid the follow on target set by India's highest ever Test score of 644 for seven declared on Sunday.
Bacchus, a beautiful striker of the ball, plays with confidence and without inhibitions, despite the pressure of opening the innings in pursuit of the high Indian total. The 25-year-old Guyanese right-hander reached his first Test century in the first hour this morning, and passed his 200 just before play was called off for the day with a drive to the mid-off boundary off-spinner Venkataraghavan.
Bacchus has now been batting seven-and-a-half hours and has hit 26 fours. He survived two chances but his double century should have dispelled any doubts about his ability to play a long innings. He also answered critics who claimed that he retained his place in the team after failing in the third and fourth Tests only because of his fielding ability.
Bacchus dominated two century partnerships —129 runs in 144 minutes with Raphick Jumadeen for the third wicket and 105 in even time with David Murray in an unbroken fifth wicket stand.
Solomon said that if the West Indies could add 200 more runs in quick time tomorrow, there was a possibility captain Alvin Kallicharran might declare to put the pressure back on the Indians. It would then be up to Sunil Gavaskar to trytoforce a result or settle for a draw, but since India. has already won the series he would be foolish to take any chances.
The record for the highest total in India-West Indies cricket is held by Rohan Kanhai who made 256 at Calcutta in 1958. But Bacchus, who celebrated his 25th birthday last week, has already broken Sir Gary Sobers' record of 198, the highest ever made at Kanpur.