West Indies v Pakistan at Windsor Park, Dominica from 10th to 14th May 2017



Day of early rain and late bad light …. Azhar Ali still there with painstaking 85 …. Guard of honour for Younus Khan

On a first day marked by slow scoring, early interruptions for rain and a premature closure because of bad light Pakistan reached 169-2 from 69 overs in the Third (and deciding) Test Match at Roseau, Dominica. The tourists made West Indies regret having put them into bat on winning the toss through a painstaking 139 runs second-wicket stand between Azhar Ali and Babar Alam after Shan Masood had been caught by Jason Holder off Roston Chase at 19. Shan Masood and Hasan Ali had come into the team in place of Ahmed Shehzad and Shadab Khan, whereas West Indies were unchanged for the third consecutive match. Although the only real scare was when wicket-keeper Shan Dowrich missed Babar Alam off Devendra Bishoo at 80, the batsmen did not find run-scoring easy on a flat pitch. At 139 Babar Alam was caught by Kieran Powell at first slip for 55 as he played hesitatingly at Alzarri Joseph outside the off-stump. The dismissal brought to the wicket Younus Khan who with his captain Misbah il-Haq was taking an emotional farewell of their Test Match careers.  As he did so the West Indies cricketers lined up to form a guard of honour. Although he did not take a wicket, Shannon Gabriel, the match-winner in Barbados, was the most economical of the bowlers. The day belonged to opening batsman Azhar Ali who was still there, with Younus Khan, on 85 from 219 deliveries with 7 boundaries when the umpires brought play to an end.



Wickets fall after attritional batting – Azhar Ali’s century – Chase and Holder put West Indies in contention – Sarfraz Ahmed regains the advantage

Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Abbas shared a stand of 45 runs, of which the latter made only three, for the ninth-wicket to wrestle back control for Pakistan after two wickets had fallen in consecutive balls to Jason Holder at 322. Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo took the last two wickets to bring the innings to a close at 376 from 146.3 overs. Openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell batted out the final 11 overs for 14 without loss, an overnight deficit of 362 runs.The earlier war of attrition seemed to have worn down the batsmen as much as the bowlers, because when they did try to increase the run-rate there was an air of desperation which led to wickets. Younus Khan’s was the only wicket to fall before lunch. Azhar Ali, who had ground out a century, was bowled out when he attacked off-spinner Roston Chase. In his last Test Match, Misbah ul-Haq, though surviving two missed chances, maintained his resistance into the afternoon. The next ball after he struck Chase for a 6, as if to break the self-imposed scoring shackles, he was caught by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich. The wickets of Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah followed soon after, as it seemed that the tactics had backfired. Sarfraz Ahmed, the fourth batsman to pass fifty, took the total to a respectability that could be decisive on a slow pitch that showed signs of turn.  
Pakistan 376 (Azhar Ali 127, Misbah ul-Haq 59, Babar Azam 55, Sarfraz Ahmed 51, R.L. Chase 4-103, J.O. Holder 3-71): West Indies 14-0



Chase injured … Run-rate plunges to 2.18 … Yasir Shah poses problems

West Indies finished a day of grim batting at 218-5 at a run-rate of 2.18 put them 158 runs behind Pakistan on the third day of the Third Test Match at Roseau. The decisive blow of the day was the ball from Mohammad Ali which struck Roston Chase on the arm and forced his retirement from the pitch with his score on 60 and the total on 183-4. The Barbadian alone had taken the fight to Pakistan and when he went the scoring dried up almost completely. All of the early batsmen seemed to play themselves it but did not go on construct a significant innings.  The intensity of the struggle was shown in Kraigg Brathwaite taking 123 balls to score 29 runs and Kieran Powell 82 balls for 31, As before leg-spinner Yasir Shah posed the main problem. He took the first three wickets as well as having Shai Hope missed by Asad Shafiq. From 97-3 Hope and Chase again began to the contest out of the fire. Then with the last ball before tea Azhar Ali induced the former to clip a low catch to Misbah ul-Haq at short mid-wicket. It was Pakistan’s 50th Test Match catch, and on his last appearance. When Vishaul Singh was out at 189-5, and still almost two hundred runs between the teams, the balance had tipped Pakistan’s way. Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder defended to the point of keeping the score-rate static until hitting more freely in the closing overs. They stayed to the close at 218-5, and Chase’s innings to be continued, West Indies are not yet out of the fight. 

Pakistan 376 (Azhar Ali 127, Misbah ul-Haq 59, Babar Azam 55, Sarfraz Ahmed 51, R.L. Chase 4-103, J.O. Holder 3-71): West Indies 218-5 (R.L. Chase 60 r.h., Yasir Shah 3-108)  



Misbah ul-Haq and Younis Khan bow out with honour …. Mohammas Abbas wrecks West Indies batting in the morning … Shan Masood’s splendid last ball catch


A splendid catch by Shan Masood as Kieran Powell pushed what was the last ball of the fourth day from Yasir Shah away from him left West Indies 7-1 at the close with 297 runs still to score to win with 9 wickets to fall. After three days of inertia the wickets fell like leaves throughout the fourth of the third Test Match at Roseau. It was a day of sadness, as Misbah ul-Hsaq and Younis Khan took their leave of Test cricket, and of changing fortune as a 61 eighth wicket stand between Mohammad Amir and Yasir Khan allowed Pakistan to declare at 174-8 and set West Indies what should be a very difficult task. Earlier West Indies had struck back strongly from their morning batting breakdown. The home country did not really recover from losing Shane Dowrich in the first over of the day, and debutant Mohammad Abbas ran through the lower order. His first victim was Roston Chase who returned to the crease from his injury at the fall of the first wicket. Younis Khan’s catch to dismiss Devendra Bishoo was his tenth of the series. Dismissed for 247 in 2.14 overs, with the last three batsmen failing to score, West Indies were 129 runs behind. It was now Pakistan’s to be in trouble at 8-2, though Babar Azam, who scored nought, may have been unlucky as the catch to Shimron Heymyer seemed to have grazed the grass. With Misbah ul-Haq out cheaply to a skied catch to wicketkeeper Dowrich, Younis Khan (35) bore the burden of resistance as fast bowler Alzarri Joseph applied pressure to the middle-order until Yasir Shah’s (38 n.o.) late blast of acceleration, including 15 runs off the last over led to the declaration in time for Pakistan to snatch one wicket before the close.
Pakistan 376 (Azhar Ali 127, Misbah ul-Haq 59, Babar Azam 55, Sarfraz Ahmed 51, R.L. Chase 4-103, J.O. Holder 3-71) & 174-8 dec (A.S. Joseph 3-53): West Indies 247 (R.L. Chase 69, Mohammad 5-46, Yasir Shah 3-126) & 7-1

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