Late Windies rally stuns Pak­istan

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

ACLATTER of late wick­ets in the fi­nal hour hurt Pak­istan’s mo­men­tum and handed West Indies a rare ad­van­tage on a topsy-turvy open­ing day of the third and fi­nal Test here yes­ter­day.

The hosts, en­ter­ing the con­test at the Sharjah Cricket Sta­dium with the se­ries al­ready wrapped up, were in com­mand at 230 for four in the fi­nal ses­sion be­fore sud­denly los­ing four wick­ets for 25 runs, to stum­ble to the close on 255 for eight.

Pak­istan’s slide was trig­gered by legspin­ner Deven­dra Bishoo, who picked up three of the four wick­ets to end with four for 74.

In-form speed­ster Shan­non Gabriel claimed the other wicket to fin­ish with three for 58, as West Indies en­joyed one of their bright­est days in an oth­er­wise wretched se­ries, where they are yet to win a sin­gle game.

Right-armer Gabriel had ear­lier stunned Pak­istan, snatch­ing two wick­ets in the open­ing over to re­duce them to one run for two wick­ets af­ter they opted to bat first.

How­ever, 20-year-old opener Sami As­lam spear­headed his side’s re­vival, top-scor­ing with 74, while cap­tain Mis­bah-ul-Haq carved out 53 and Sar­fraz Ahmed and vet­eran You­nis Khan both hit 51.

IDEAL START

Need­ing a strong per­for­mance to turn the page on the dis­ap­point­ment of the two pre­vi­ous Tests, West Indies were given the ideal start, cour­tesy of an in­ci­sive Gabriel burst.

With just the sec­ond ball of the morn­ing and with a sin­gle run on the board, the 28-year-old re­moved first Test triple-cen­tury-maker Azhar Ali for

a first-ball ‘duck’, caught at sec­ond slip by Kraigg Brath­waite as he sparred at one that bounced and moved away.

Two balls later, Gabriel sent back Asad Shafiq also with­out scor­ing, af­ter bring­ing one back to hit the right-han­der in front. His ini­tial ap­peal for lbw was re­jected, but the Windies were vin­di­cated on re­view.

Tot­ter­ing for the first time in the se­ries in their first in­nings, Pak­istan were res­cued by the left-handed As­lam who an­chored a cru­cial 106-run, third-wicket part­ner­ship with the ir­re­press­ible You­nis.

As­lam faced 172 balls and counted

seven fours and a six, while You­nis, who gath­ered a hun­dred in the last Test in Abu Dhabi, struck four fours and a six in a 100-ball knock.

The pair car­ried Pak­istan safely to lunch at 81 for two and kept West Indies wick­et­less for an­other 40 min­utes af­ter­ward, be­fore be­ing sep­a­rated.

You­nis, twice let off on 30 in the same over from off-spin­ner Ros­ton Chase prior to lunch, reached his half­cen­tury just over half-hour fol­low­ing the re­sump­tion, when he clob­bered Chase over the ropes at mid­wicket.

At­tempt­ing to re­peat the stroke in the

bowler’s next over, the right-handed You­nis suc­ceeded only in top-edg­ing a catch to Leon John­son at mid­wicket.

How­ever, West Indies re­mained with­out fur­ther suc­cess in the ses­sion as Mis­bah an­chored the first of two part­ner­ships to put Pak­istan on top.

He put on 43 for the fourth wicket with As­lam, a stand which left the hosts on 148 for three at tea. And when As­lam per­ished in the first over af­ter the break with just two runs added, glov­ing a re­verse sweep at Bishoo to cap­tain Ja­son Holder at slip, Mis­bah com­bined with Sar­fraz to again frus­trate

the Windies.

The pair posted 80 for the fifth wicket with both play­ing pos­i­tively and al­low­ing Pak­istan to march dom­i­nantly through the next hour.

MORE BOUND­ARIES

Mis­bah, un­beaten on 18 at tea, took on Bishoo in the fifth over af­ter the in­ter­val, thump­ing him for a back-to­back leg-side four and six, to move into the 30s.

He then swept Chase for four be­fore re­verse-sweep­ing Bishoo for a cou­ple, to raise his sec­ond half-cen­tury in as many in­nings, on the stroke of the drinks break.

Off the first ball on the re­sump­tion, he was ad­judged to have touched a re­verse sweep through to the wick­et­keeper off Bishoo, af­ter fac­ing 123 de­liv­er­ies and strik­ing three fours and a six.

His dis­missal trig­gered the slide as Bishoo clin­i­cally sliced through the lower or­der.

WINDIES ME­DIA

Shai Hope of West Indies at­tempts to stump You­nis Khan of Pak­istan dur­ing day one of the third Test be­tween Pak­istan and West Indies at Sharjah Cricket Sta­dium in Sharjah, United Arab Emi­rates yes­ter­day.

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