Shivnarine Chanderpaul ended his 22-year Test career with 11, 867 Test runs at an average of 51.37 with 30 hundred and 66 fifties in 164 matches. His total is the seventh highest of all time, and he finished 86 runs behind Brian Lara’s 11,953 as the second most prolific West Indian batsman. He also had 8778 runs in 268 One-Day Internationals at 41.60 with 11 centuries and 59 half-centuries.
The Guyanese batsman, known for his strange stance, has been involved in an improbable number of game-saving and match-winning knocks during his career. Here’s a lowdown on his top five Test and top five ODI innings, with Impact Index putting the value of this knocks into perspective.
Five highest impact Test batting performance
153* v Pakistan, Bridgetown, 2005
Chanderpaul had proved himself to be an able captain in the absence of Lara, a fact made all the more evident when he smashed a double century on his debut as skipper. But this innings at the Kensington Oval was his best as captain. The strip wasn’t favourable to batsmen. Of course, viewing the game through the scorecard would show three centuries, leading one to believe that it a batting beauty. But here’s the thing. The first century, a stroke-filled 130, came from an unabashed Lara and the third, a manic 95-ball 122, came from a fearless Shahid Afridi. There would have been a fourth but Chanderpaul fell short by eight runs in the first innings as West Indies were bowled out for 345. Fidel Edwards then ran riot to bowl Pakistan out for 144. West Indies were ahead by 201 and Chanderpaul made a dogged 153 from 254 balls in the second innings to help his side set Pakistan a target of 573. Barring Afridi, none of the other Pakistan batsmen contributed, resulting in the visitors being bowled out for 296. How is this among Chanderpaul’s best? Well, the 276-win was West Indies’ first Test win since June 2004 against Bangladesh, and also their first victory over a team ranked above them in the ICC rankings since they beat Sri Lanka in 2003 in Jamaica.
50 v England, Port of Spain, 1994
West Indies were up 2-0 in the five match series, meaning a win at the bowler friendly Queen’s Park Oval could seal the deal in their favour. But from early on, it was evident that West Indies’ batsmen weren’t going to have it easy against England’s pacers after winning the toss and deciding to bat. Had it not been for Richie Richardson’s 172-ball 63 and Brian Lara’s 104-ball 43, they wouldn’t have reached 252. Despite Curtly Ambrose finishing with figures of 5 for 60, England finished 76 runs ahead. Another healthy batting performance was required and until the middle order arrived, there was no sign of stability. Keith Arthurton made 42 and Jimmy Adams contributed 43 but it was Chanderpaul’s unrelenting 124-ball 50, courtesy a couple of dropped catches, which lifted West Indies to 269 and left England with 194 for victory. It’s another matter that Ambrose stole the show with second-innings figures of 6 for 24 from 10 overs, bundling England out for 46. But if hadn’t been for Chanderpaul’s calculated stand in only his second Test match, West Indies would have had to defend a far smaller total.
58 & 40 v Australia, Melbourne, 1996
This was a time when the Frank Worrell Trophy meant a fight. Australia had won the first couple of Tests but West Indies weren’t used to taking things lying down. It began with the hosts, who opted to bat, being bowled out for 219 with Curtly Ambrose picking up 5 for 55. West Indies’ response wasn’t overwhelming as they lost four of their top five batsmen cheaply but Chanderpaul made a patient 58 even with Glenn McGrath spitting venom. Jimmy Adams and Junior Murray capitalised on the base to carry West Indies to 255. Ambrose and the bowling unit returned to haunt Australia, bowled out for a measly 122. The pitch was deteriorating, but Chandepaul would have none of that. After West Indies were reduced to 32 for 3 by another incisive spell from McGrath, the left-hand batsman pulled his side out of quicksand and eventually finished on 40 from 82 balls. Importantly, his 40 had carried West Indies to 82 in pursuit of 87. West Indies remained in the series with that win but lost the series 2-3.
118 v England, Georgetown, 1998
Guyana was in the grip of a long drought and the pitch was as chalk-like as it could be without the water. They were tough conditions to bat in but the third-wicket partnership between Lara and Chanderpaul yielded 159 after a wobbly start. The alliance came to an end when Lara fell to Robert Croft for 93, but Chanderpaul added another 98 runs with Carl Hooper (43) to guide the hosts to 352, the highest total of the match. England were bowled out for 170. West Indies’ second innings yielded 197 with Chanderpaul run out for nought. England managed a mere 137 in the second innings, leaving West Indies with a 242-run victory. West Indies managed a draw in the fifth Test and claimed an innings victory in the fifth to clinch the series.
87* and 91 v England, Lord’s, 2012
Chanderpaul had been West Indies’ spine for nearly two decades by then and this match went on to show just how relevant he still was to his side’s fortunes. It was the opening Test of the Wisden Trophy and West Indies were put in on a lively pitch. Adrian Barath made 42, Darren Bravo 29, Marlon Samuels came up with 31 but none of them utilised time as well as Chanderpaul. He hung around for 242 minutes and made an unbeaten 87 before West Indies were skittled for 243, Stuart Broad finishing with seven for 72. England, obviously more at home in the conditions, rode on the back of Andrew Strauss’s 122 to cruise to 398, a lead of 155. West Indies, in response, were down to 65 for 4 and it was up to Chanderpaul to resuscitate the innings once again. He dug deep and forged a 157-run stand Marlon Samuels before being trapped by Graeme Swann. Thanks to Chanderpaul’s 250-ball 91, West Indies were able to set England a target of 191 with one day left in the game. Had it been the attack of the 90s, England would have found the going tough but with Alastair Cook making 79 and Ian Bell contributing an unbeaten 63 against a young attack, the hosts romped home by five wickets.
Five highest impact ODI batting performances
150 v South Africa, East London, 1999
This was the only ODI West Indies ended up winning on that seven-match tour, and even that looked out of reach at various stages. Asked to bat, West Indies had lost No. 1 and No. 3 for nought and Lara for 3. Chanderpaul gauged the situation from the non-striker’s end the entire time before he found an ally in Hooper. The duo added 226 for the fourth wicket at a little over six an over to get West Indies to a decent position at the time of Hooper’s dismissal (272/4 from 46.1 overs). Chanderpaul had made 150 from 136 balls with 20 fours and Hooper 108 from 119 balls with eight fours and three sixes. There was hope that the lower middle order and the tail would fetch them some handy runs but none of them even got to double digits. South Africa were bowled out for 249 and West Indies won by 43 runs, but they lost the next five without so much as a fight.
52* v Sri Lanka, Port of Spain, 2008
Rain was a very real threat that morning at the Queen’s Park Oval and surely enough, it arrived when Sri Lanka had reached 112 for 5 from 30.3 overs. West Indies were left to chase down a revised target of 125 from 25 overs. The first three wickets yielded a mere 18 runs, meaning it was once again up to Chanderpaul. He had delivered a couple of days ago with an unbeaten 62 to see West Indies open the three-match series with a win off the final ball with just one wicket in hand. In surprisingly attacking mode, he smashed a couple of sixes and three fours this time around to make an unbeaten 52 from 42 balls. At the other end was Samuels, with a 49-ball 54. West Indies scaled the target in 20.3 overs with seven wickets to spare.
84 v England, Georgetown, 2004
No one in the match went past the 30-run mark and here was Chanderpaul sticking out with 84. What makes his innings all the more special is the fact that he brought up those runs on a very very tricky pitch. Steady rain for two days meant the ground was as wet as it could be and choppers were brought in to dry it up. Eventually a 30-over contest was decided upon and West Indies were asked to bat. They were down to 64 for 4 when Chanderpaul struck a deal with Sylvester Joseph and began the recovery process. Taking up most of the strike, Chanderpaul carried West Indies to 151 before being dismissed by Darren Gough. England were set a target of 157 and they found out just how hard batting was when their run chase got underway. Marcus Trescothick made 26, Andrew Strauss 29, Ian Blackwell 27 and Chris Read 27 from 15. Had it not been for Read’s blitz at the end, Chanderpaul’s innings would have been the one hogging the headlines.
77 v Sri Lanka, Hobart, 1996
It was the Benson and Hedges World Series and Australia had won four out of four. In a nutshell, this was a contest to see who between West Indies and Sri Lanka would make it to the finals. Sri Lanka had won the first game by four wickets, so they had their noses ahead, but a hardy 117-ball vigil from Chanderpaul meant Sri Lanka were not going to waltz home a second time. After West Indies lost Phil Simmons for nought, Chanderpaul added 83 with Sherwin Campbell (38), 42 with Richie Richardson (18) and 36 with Hooper (36). The next six West Indian batsmen made just 15 runs combined as they were bowled out for 194. Just when you thought it would be a walk in the park for Sri Lanka, Ottis Gibson turned in match-winning figures of 5 for 42 to help West Indies bowl Sri Lanka out for 124 and win the low-scoring game by 70 runs. West Indies won their next two encounters to stand in line for a final showdown against Australia but a loss to Sri Lanka in Perth ended their dreams. Australia defeated Sri Lanka in the two-match finals 2-0.
112* v England, Guyana, 2009
England had won the first of the five ODIs aided by messers Duckworth and Lewis but this time around, they would have no such luck. Opting to bat, West Indies were in trouble as they down two for 24 but Sarwan (74) and Chanderpaul upped the ante by adding 133 for the third wicket. Chanderpaul wasn’t able to find a partner who would stick around and add to the tally but he kept going and guided West Indies to 264 for 8. It wasn’t a big total but on a pitch that was cracking up, it became more and more clear that England had their task cut out. Andrew Strauss showed great resolve and kept England in the hunt but the rest of the batsmen were guilty of ignoring the perils of a deteriorating strip. England were bowled out for 243 and the series was levelled 1-1. West Indies won the next one to raise hopes of a series victory but England bagged the fourth and the fifth to deny the hosts.