Hope for Windies as nervy Day 5 ahead

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Stylish stroke-maker Shai Hope agonizingly missed out on a maiden Test hundred in an admirable West Indies batting effort, but a clatter of wickets late on the penultimate day here Wednesday opened the door for Pakistan, setting up an intriguing finale to the second Test.

The Barbadian right-hander struck an accomplished career-best 90, an innings that lifted West Indies to 264 for nine in their second innings – a lead of 183 runs heading into the Thursday’s last day of the Kensington Oval contest.

Hope’s knock underlined West Indies’ resilience over the first two sessions which saw them reach 197 for four at tea before a collapse in the final session saw the hosts squander the momentum they had carefully gathered.

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite struck 43, left-hander Vishaul Singh chipped in with 32 while Roston Chase scored 23, as West Indies battled hard on a wearing track.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah once again proved the danger man, picking up six for 90 to post his 10th five-wicket haul in Tests, while enterprising seamer Mohammad Abbas claimed two for 57.

Resuming the day on 40 for one, West Indies lost Shimron Hetmyer in the day’s third over before the left-hander had added to his overnight 22, bowled by one from left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir which came back to shatter the stumps, with a single run added to the overnight score.

Brathwaite and Hope then energized the innings with a 56-run, third wicket stand which saw the hosts safely through the next hour.

Without a score of note in the series, Brathwaite appeared focused on notching a big one in an innings which lasted 111 deliveries in nearly 2-1/2 hours at the crease and included four boundaries.

But he perished 34 minutes before lunch when he got one from Yasir which bounced, took the shoulder of the bat, for Younis Khan to pull off a brilliant one-handed catch, leaping high to his right at slip.

Hope then anchored a 58-run fourth wicket partnership with Chase to deny Pakistan any further success for the session and steer the Windies to 112 for three at lunch.

Both players looked in good touch afterwards, with Hope especially growing in confidence, driving left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir straight for four and then hammering Yasir to the cover boundary in the following over.

The right-handed Chase looked untroubled in 83 balls in nearly 1-3/4 hours at the crease before he was dismissed, driving an innocuous delivery back to Yasir at 155 for four, 40 minutes before tea.

Hope, however, continued to steady the innings, this time finding an ally in Vishaul to help post 80 for the fifth wicket and ensure West Indies were consolidating at tea on 197 for four. He reached his maiden Test half-century half-hour before tea and was unbeaten at the break on 68, with Vishaul on 18.

Hope hardly played a false stroke in an innings spanning 209 deliveries, just over 5-1/4 hours and including eight fours and a six and looked a sure bet to reach triple figures. But he suddenly lost concentration and drove Yasir uppishly to cover where Azhar Ali snared a simple catch head-high, an hour-and-a-half after tea at 235 for five.

His dismissal triggered a decline as five wickets tumbled for 26 runs to see Pakistan haul their way back into the game.

Without a run added, Vishaul played on to Abbas off the first ball of the next over and captain Jason Holder (1) perished in the following over from Yasir with one run added to the total, neatly caught by Younis at slip.

Scenting further success, Pakistan made quick inroads into the tail. Wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich spent 10 balls and three-quarters of an hour over two before gloving a catch to Asad Shafiq running around from slip and Alzarri Joseph lasted 11 deliveries for his seven before clipping a full toss from Yasir low to Amir at short mid-wicket.

WEST INDIES 1st Innings 312

PAKISTAN 1st Innings 393

WEST INDIES 2nd Innings

(overnight 40 for one)

K Brathwaite c Younis Khan b Yasir Shah 43

K Powell c wkp Sarfraz Ahmed b Mohammad Abbas 6

S Hetmyer b Mohammad Amir  22

S Hope c Azhar Ali b Yasir Shah 90

R Chase c & b Yasir Shah 23

V Singh b Mohammad Abbas 32

+S Dowrich c Asad Shafiq b Yasir Shah 2

*J Holder c Younis Khan b Yasir Shah 1

D Bishoo not out 16

A Joseph c Mohammad Amir b Yasir Shah 7

S Gabriel not out 0

Extras (b16, lb2, w3, nb1) 22

TOTAL (9 wkts, 102 overs) 264

Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Powell), 2-41 (Hetmyer), 3-97 (Brathwaite), 4-155 (Chase), 5-235 (Hope), 6-235 (Singh), 7-236 (Holder), 8-252 (Dowrich), 9-261 (Joseph)

Bowling: Mohammad Amir 21-8-44-1 (w1), Mohammad Abbas 25-6-57-2, Yasir Shah 39-12-90-6, Shadab Khan 17-0-55-0.

Position: West Indies lead aby 183 runs with one wicket intact.

Toss: West Indies.

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

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