WI bank­ing on Dubai mo­men­tum

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emi­rates (CMC): EST INDIES will be look­ing to draw con­fi­dence from their en­cour­ag­ing out­ing in last week’s first Test and avoid yet an­other series de­feat, when they take on Pak­istan in the sec­ond Test start­ing here to­day.

De­spite the loss in Dubai, West Indies gave a fight­ing dis­play to take the his­toric day/night con­test down to the fi­nal hour of the last day, be­fore suc­cumb­ing to the hosts by 56 runs and fall be­hind 1-0 in the three-Test series.

And cap­tain Ja­son Holder said yes­ter­day his side would be tak­ing the mo­men­tum gained from that game into the next five days at the Sheikh Zayed Sta­dium.

“We’re ob­vi­ously con­fi­dent. We played a very good Test match in Dubai and were very com­pet­i­tive,” an up­beat Holder told me­dia here.


“We had some great pos­i­tives com­ing out of that game, so for me, it’s just to trans­fer it into this game. Abu Dhabi maybe a fortress for Pak­istan, but we’ve shown we can com­pete in this series and we’re very, very con­fi­dent head­ing into the sec­ond Test match.”

He added: “Ob­vi­ously, we did some good things in the last Test match. We didn’t get over the line and every­body was dis­ap­pointed there. We showed hurt, we spoke about it, and re­freshed our minds and we’re ready to go again.” West Indies bats­man Dar­ren Bravo.

Com­ing off em­bar­rass­ing clean sweeps in the pre­ced­ing Twenty20 and one-day in­ter­na­tional series, West Indies’ woes looked set to con­tinue

when Pak­istan piled up a mas­sive 579 for three de­clared in their first in­nings.

But the Caribbean side re­sponded with 357, then bun­dled out their op­po­nents for 123, to open up the game with a get­table tar­get of 346 to win.

They were com­pet­i­tive thanks mainly to Dar­ren Bravo’s eighth Leg-spin­ner Deven­dra Bishoo. You­nis Khan is back in Pak­istan’s team.

Test hun­dred, but once he de­parted in the fi­nal hour on the last day, the Windies chal­lenge faded.

Holder said his side were fo­cussed on mak­ing the im­prove­ments nec­es­sary to come away with victory.

“We need to sharpen up on the lit­tle mis­takes we made in the field. I think we can be a bit bet­ter in the field and ob­vi­ously cut down on those no-balls which we bowled,” he pointed out.

As it did in Dubai, the spot­light will again fall on the spin at­tack of both sides. West Indies will de­pend heav­ily on leg-spin­ner Deven­dra Bishoo whose ca­reer-best eight-wicket haul in the sec­ond in­nings in Dubai, blew the game open.

Pak­istan, how­ever, will be hop­ing for bet­ter from legspin­ner Yasir Shah and left-arm spin­ner Mo­ham­mad Nawaz. Yasir picked up five in the Windies first in­nings, but was largely in­ef­fec­tive on a fi­nal-day wicket and claimed just two scalps in the sec­ond in­nings.


Holder said he ex­pected the bulk of the work to be shoul­dered by the spin­ners and said it was im­por­tant that their seam­ers un­der­stood their roles.

“The wick­ets are very good. Both sides strug­gled to get wick­ets with their seam­ers [in the last Test],” the 24-year-old pointed out.

“Both spin­ners dom­i­nated in the first Test match, so it’s a sit­u­a­tion where the pac­ers have to be a lit­tle bit more pa­tient, let the spin­ners get into their work, and be a bit more ag­gres­sive.”

He con­tin­ued: “Pak­istan has a qual­ity spin­ner in Yasir Shah and they’ve got an in­ex­pe­ri­enced one in Nawaz and the bulk of the work will be heav­ily de­pen­dent on Yasir Shah.

“I thought we coped with him re­ally well in the sec­ond in­nings. He was not as ef­fec­tive, though it was a day-five pitch and I think the more time we spend on each wicket we bat on, the bet­ter off for us.”

Pak­istan have been boosted by the re­turn of vet­eran righthander You­nis Khan who missed the Dubai Test as he re­cov­ered from the ef­fects of dengue. With nearly 10,000 Test runs, over 100 Tests and al­ready 32 hun­dreds, You­nis is a much feared cam­paigner but Holder said while they re­spected him, they would not be in­tim­i­dated.

“He’s a qual­ity player [and] com­ing off a dou­ble in his last in­nings in Eng­land, there’s no doubt the cal­i­bre of player he is but cricket is played on the day and that’s ex­actly what we’re go­ing to do,” Holder as­serted.

The game bowls off at 1 a.m. (Ja­maica time).


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