Yasir haul de­nies Bishoo and Bravo

The Cricket Paper - - INTERNATIONAL CRICKET & OPINION - By John Hunter

PAK­ISTAN cap­tain Mis­bahul-Haq blamed the con­di­tions in Dubai for his team’s Jekyll and Hyde per­for­mance as they snatched what should have been a com­fort­able first Test vic­tory over West Indies by the skin of their teeth.

Lead­ing by 222 runs at the half­way stage, Pak­istan were dis­missed cheaply for 123 but sur­vived a fifth-day scare, led by Dar­ren Bravo (116), to win by 56 runs – the nar­row­est mar­gin of vic­tory recorded since their re­lo­ca­tion to Dubai.

Mis­bah said:“The pitch was on the slower side, the Dubai pitch nor­mally starts de­te­ri­o­rat­ing after two days.

“A bit of dew in the evening ses­sion was af­fect­ing the ball.With the sog­gi­ness, the ball was get­ting softer so dif­fer­ent fac­tors contributed and helped the bats­men score runs.

“Spin­ners and fast bowlers will get more help and re­verse swing will also be there in the dry weather.

“But in the evening the pink ball was get­ting wet and the seam was swelling and it got softer.

“But in the end it was a good Test match, both teams played re­ally well, and it’s good for Test cricket.”

A sen­sa­tional un­beaten 302 from opener Azhar Ali saw Pak­istan de­clare at 579-3 and Yasir Shah spun his way to 5-121 from 43 overs as West Indies were bowled out for 357.

But mo­men­tum changed on day four as Deven­dra Bishoo (8-49) tore through Pak­istan’s tail to limit them to 123 all out in­side 32 overs.

The chal­lenge of com­plet­ing an un­likely turn­around was spear­headed by Bravo on day five as Shah’s ef­fec­tive­ness be­gan to wane.

But the bowler got the last laugh, dis­miss­ing Bravo at the end of the 95th over which ef­fec­tively sealed the end of the tourists’ charge.

Their race was run in the fi­nal ses­sion of the day, out for 289 as Pak­istan breathed a col­lec­tive sigh of re­lief.

Pak­istan 579-3d & 123 beat West Indies 357 & 289 by 56 runs

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