Windies eye survival after imploding

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – West Indies’ brittle and unproven batting was brutally exposed by leg-spinner Yasir Shah, leaving the Caribbean side staring at yet another Test defeat following a chastening penultimate day of the opening Test against Pakistan here Monday.

Trailing on first innings by 121 runs after Pakistan piled up 407 all out, West Indies were in strife at 93 for four in their second innings at the close – still requiring 28 runs to avoid an innings defeat on Tuesday’s final day at Sabina Park.

They were cantering at 72 for one at one stage but that false sense of security was unveiled as three wickets fell for 17 runs in the space of 39 balls as Yasir wreaked havoc on the innings to finish with four for 33.

Left-hander Kieran Powell missed out on a well-deserved half-century when he fell for a fluent and composed 49 while debutant Shimron Hetmyer chipped in with 20 before his demise.

Starting their innings after tea, West Indies reached 22 before losing their first wicket when Kraigg Brathwaite played back to the first ball of Yasir’s spell and lost his off-stump for 14.

Powell and Hetmyer then combined in a 50-run second wicket stand to raise the Windies hopes of entering the final day in a strong position.

Looking at ease against both pace and spin, Powell carved out nine fours off 84 deliveries while Hetmyer, also a left-hander, belted two fours and a six in a breezy 28-ball knock.

The 20-year-old Hetmyer had just cleared the ropes at wide long on with Yasir when he too played back and onto his stumps to depart 33 minutes before the close, and Shai Hope’s miserable Test run then continued when he missed a straight one from the wily leg-spinner and was palpably lbw for six.

However, the real breakthrough came in the day’s penultimate over when Yasir removed Powell to a catch at slip by Younis Khan, as the batsman defended one from the rough that hardly spun.

Neither debutant Vishal Singh nor nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo have yet to score.

Earlier, captain Misbah-ul-Haq became the seventh Pakistani batsman to pass 5 000 Test runs but then also became the first of his countrymen to be left stranded on 99, as his side built up a handy lead after resuming the day on 201 for four – still 85 runs behind the Windies first innings total.

Wicketkeeker Sarfraz Ahmed chipped in with 54 while Asad Shafiq made 22, scores which contributed to the Windies frustration, especially in the morning session when Pakistan batted at snail’s pace.

Twenty-year-old fast bowler Alzarri Joseph was impressive, finishing with three for 71 while fellow new-ball bowler Shannon Gabriel picked up three for 92.

West Indies’ only success in the morning session was the wicket of Shafiq, who perished in the ninth over caught at the wicket off Gabriel. Unbeaten on five overnight, the right-handed Shafiq faced 67 balls and struck four boundaries before edging a quick one.

Any hopes West Indies had, however, of running through the lower order were then rebuffed as Misbah and Sarfraz put on 88 for the sixth wicket, a stand which saw Pakistan safely to lunch at 322 for five and to a lead of 36 runs.

Sarfraz undertook the bulk of the scoring and all told, struck five fours and a six in a 70-ball knock as he posted his 12th Test fifty while surpassing 2 000 career runs in his 34th match.

Misbah, meanwhile, was ultra-patient in the morning but accelerated as three figures beckoned in the second session, and finished with five fours and three sixes in an innings requiring 223 deliveries.

On 53 at lunch, Sarfraz added just one before he was bowled behind his back, missing a sweep at leg-spinner Bishoo in the third over after the resumption.

His dismissal sparked a slide where Pakistan lost four wickets for 49 runs. Mohammad Amir was caught at the wicket half-hour after the break for 11, jabbing at a length ball from Joseph and Wahab Riaz followed soon after, bowled by an in-swinging delivery from the tall Antiguan for nine.

Yasir Shah was run out for eight by substitute Jermaine Blackwood’s direct throw from short cover but debutant number 11 Mohammad Abbas (1) joined Misbah in a 34-run stand which helped the veteran right-hander close in on his 11th Test hundred.

He was within touching distance of the landmark when Abbas missed the 21st delivery he faced and was lbw to off-spinner Roston Chase for one.

WEST INDIES 1st Innings 286

PAKISTAN 1st Innings

(overnight 201 for five)

Azhar Ali c wkp Dowrich b Joseph 15

Ahmed Shehzad lbw b Holder 31

Babar Azam b Gabriel 72

Younis Khan c Brathwaite b Gabriel 58

*Misbah-ul-Haq not out  99

Asad Shafiq c wkp Dowrich b Gabriel 22

+Sarfraz Ahmed b Bishoo 54

Mohammed Amir c wkp Dowrich b Joseph 11

Wahab Riaz b Joseph 9

Yasir Shah run out 8

Mohammed Abbas lbw b Chase 1

Extras (b4, lb10, w1, nb12) 27

TOTAL (all out; 138.4 overs) 407

Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Azhar Ali), 2-54 (Ahmed Shehzad), 3-185 (Younis Khan), 4-186 (Babar Azam), 5-236 (Asad Shafiq), 6-324 (Sarfraz Ahmed), 7-341 (Mohammad Amir), 8-355 (Wahab Riaz), 9-373 (Yasir Shah), 10-407 (Mohammad Abbas)

Bowling: Gabriel 29-6-92-3 (nb6), Joseph 31-8-71-3 (nb2), Holder 30-6-65-1 (nb4), Bishoo 33-2-106-1 (w1), Chase 8.4-1-37-1, Brathwaite 7-1-22-0

WEST INDIES 2nd Innings

K Brathwaite b Yasir Shah 14

K Powell c Younis Khan b Yasir Shah 49

S Hetmyer b Yasir Shah 20

S Hope lbw b Yasir Shah 6

D Bishoo not out 0

V Singh not out 0

Extras (lb4) 4

TOTAL (4 wkts, 28 overs) 93

Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Brathwaite), 2-72 (Hetmyer), 3-84 (Hope), 4-89 (Powell)

Bowling: Mohammad Amir 9-2-11-0, Mohammad Abbas 6-0-21-0, Yasir Shah 9-0-33-4, Wahab Riaz 4-0-24-0.

Position: West Indies trail by 28 runs with six second innings wickets intact.

Toss: Pakistan.

Umpires: R Illingworth, R Kettleborough; TV – B Oxenford.

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