Brath­waite, Holder lift Windies in third Test

Berdych beats Sousa to reach Paris third round

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Kraigg Brath­waite be­came the fifth West In­dian bats­man to carry his bat with an un­beaten hun­dred be­fore Ja­son Holder took 310 to leave Pak­istan un­der pres­sure in the third Test in Shar­jah yes­ter­day.

Brath­waite held West Indies’s first in­nings of 337 with a res­o­lute 142 not out be­fore Holder jolted Pak­istan with three wick­ets in 17 balls to give his team a strong po­si­tion at the end of the third day. At close Pak­istan were strug­gling at 87-4 with opener Azhar Ali 45 not out and Sar­fraz Ahmed 19 not out, lead­ing only by 31 runs with six wick­ets in­tact and two days to play.

Pak­istan needed a big ef­fort af­ter con­ced­ing a 56-run lead but from 37-0 they lost four wick­ets in the space of 11 runs with Holder fir­ing on all cylin­ders and their bats­men play­ing rash shots. Holder forced Sami As­lam (17) to hook straight into the hands of deep fine-leg, then in his next over had Asad Shafiq caught in slip fend­ing a short ball for nought, his sec­ond in the match.

An over later Holder had You­nis Khan caught be­hind for zero and from the other end Mis­bah-ul-Haq holed out off spin­ner Ros­ton

To­mas Berdych avoided an­other early exit by beat­ing Joao Sousa 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 yes­ter­day to reach the third round of the Paris Mas­ters. At 4-4 in the de­cid­ing set, Berdych trailed 15-40 and saved two break points.

Al­though Berdych won the Shen­zhen Open in China last month, the Czech player’s form dropped sharply with first-round ex­its at the Ja­pan Open and the Erste Bank Open in Vi­enna. In be­tween, there was a sec­ond-round loss at the Shang­hai Mas­ters.

Los­ing so many rank­ing points forced Berdych out of the top 10 for the first time since reach­ing the 2010 Wim­ble­don fi­nal. It also leaves him need­ing to reach the semi­fi­nals in Paris to have a chance of qual­i­fy­ing for the sea­son-end­ing ATP fi­nals in Lon­don - a dif­fi­cult task con­sid­er­ing he could face Andy Mur­ray in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Berdych, the 2005 cham­pion, had 14 aces against Sousa. He will next face either 10thseeded Roberto Bautista Agut or Gilles Si­mon. Chase for four. West In­dian pace­man Shan­non Gabriel had Ahmed caught in the slip for nine only to see the um­pire call­ing a no-ball, al­low­ing the stand to reach 39 by close.

If West Indies pull off a win it will be their first in 13 Tests since beat­ing Eng­land at home in May last year while Pak­istan will spoil a good chance of a 3-0 white­wash af­ter win­ning the first two Tests in Dubai (56 runs) and Abu Dhabi (133 runs).

The high­light of the morn­ing ses­sion was Brath­waite’s knock. He held the in­nings with 11 bound­aries and for the first time in the series lifted West Indies into a rare lead.

Brath­waite added an in­valu­able 60 runs for the eighth wicket with Deven­dra Bishoo who made a solid 27 to leave Pak­istan spin-cum pace at­tack frus­trated. In the end it was left to the lively pace of Wa­hab Riaz to take the fi­nal three wick­ets for his sec­ond five-wicket haul in Tests, fin­ish­ing with 5-88 in 26.4 overs of hard work.

Riaz, whose first five-wicket haul came in his de­but Test against Eng­land at The Oval in 2010, had Bishoo caught be­hind be­fore dis­miss­ing Alzarri Joseph (six) and Shan­non Gabriel

Seven play­ers vy­ing for the two re­main­ing spots in Lon­don.

Do­minic Thiem and Marin Cilic, who won the Swiss In­doors on Sun­day, held the last two places be­fore this week. David Gof­fin, JoWil­fried Tsonga, Lu­cas Pouille and Bautista Agut are the other con­tenders play­ing in Paris.

John Is­ner had 14 aces as he reached the sec­ond round by beat­ing Mis­cha Zverev 7-6 (8), 6-4. Is­ner saved the only break point he faced in the first set and broke Zverev’s serve early in the sec­ond.

Is­ner will next play 15th-seeded David Fer­rer, who has beaten the big-serv­ing Amer­i­can seven times in eight meet­ings. Is­ner’s only win, how­ever, was in the quar­ter­fi­nals in Paris five years ago.

Also in the first round, French vet­eran Nicolas Mahut beat Mar­tin Kl­izan 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, while Vik­tor Troicki saved two match points be­fore de­feat­ing Adrian Man­nar­ino 6-4, 3-6, 76 (5). — AP (nought) to warp up the in­nings. Pace part­ner Mo­ham­mad Amir took 3-71 while the spin­ners Yasir Shah and Zul­fiqar Babar took a wicket apiece.

It was Brath­waite who de­fied the bowl­ing, em­u­lat­ing il­lus­tri­ous West In­di­ans Frank Wor­rell, Con­rad Hunte, Des­mond Haynes (thrice) and Chris Gayle in re­main­ing not out through­out a Test in­nings.

Brath­waite had a lucky es­cape when wick­et­keeper Ahmed failed to hold a sharp, ris­ing edge off spin­ner Mo­ham­mad Nawaz when he was on 121. In the same over, Bishoo was given out off a sweep shot but he suc­cess­fully re­viewed English um­pire Michael Gough’s de­ci­sion as the ball had hit fielder Ali’s hel­met be­fore he took the catch.

Re­sum­ing at 244-6, the West Indies were look­ing for a good lead. Brath­waite hit Amir for his 11th boundary off the day’s first ball, and then on-drove him towards mid-wicket for two to reach his hun­dred off 211 balls.

Pak­istan took the sec­ond new ball with the to­tal on 251 and Amir struck in­stantly, clean­bowl­ing Holder with a sharp in­com­ing de­liv­ery for 16. — AFP

PARIS: Czech Repub­lic’s To­mas Berdych re­turns the ball to Por­tu­gal’s Joao Sousa dur­ing their sec­ond round ten­nis match at the ATP World Tour Mas­ters 1000 in­door tour­na­ment in Paris yesteray. — AFP

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