Pakistan meet West Indies at Sabina park for a two test match series. After a disappointing end to the 4 match T20I series as 3 games were called off due to rain and only a game was concluded it was time for team to dawn the whites.
West Indies win the toss opt to bowl, Imran Butt and Abid Ali begin proceedings for Pakistan, a small opening stand that came to close on 20 with Butt walking back on 11 to a Kemar Roach delivery. Azhar Ali was in, Abid Ali was the next to depart on 9 as Jayden Seales gets the wicket and West Indies had two wickets in quick succession. Babar Azam and Azhar Ali calmed things down for Pakistan in the middle with a 47 run partnership where few lbw shouts favoured Pakistan but Jayden Seales takes drs out of play as he found the outside edge of Azhar Ali on 17. Again in no time Pakistan lose thier 4th with skipper Babar walking back to a peach from Roach on 30. Rizwan and Fawad Alam two new batters, short stay for an attacking Rizwan as Roston Chase dismissed Rizwan on 23. Faheem Ashraf and Fawad Alam helped Pakistan be in the contest as the duo put up a brilliant 85 run stand that came to close with an unnecessary risk that saw Faheem walk back on 44, a fine innings but an unfortunate end. With a long tail Pakistan didn’t score a lot but Fawad Alam got to his well deserved half century and walked back on 56, Hasan Ali’s quick cameo of 14 would have pinched Windies but Holder did well to wrap-up the tail early. Pakistan post 217 on a spicy wicket. For Windies it was Holder and Seales with three wickets each, a couple to Roach and a wicket for Mayers.
Windies in reply didn’t have the best of start with Powell and Bonner being dismissed on consecutive balls on duck. West Indies put up a fine 50 run stand that was disturbed with Hasan Ali finding the outside edge of Roston Chase on 21. Again a good partnership, 49 run stand that came to close with Blackwood departing on 22 to Shaheen Afridi and on the next ball picked up Mayers handing him a golden duck. Holder met skipper Brathwaite who was going good and soon got to his half century, Jason Holder followed his skipper as he too put up a brilliant half century before being dismissed on 58, Faheem Ashraf with the breakthrough for Pakistan and the 96 run stand saw curtains. Joshua Da Silva and Brathwaite kept the scoreboard ticking, skipper Brathwaite runs himself out on 97 falling 3 shy of a excellent century on a spicy wicket. Windies tail put up cameos that saw West Indies end on 253 with a handy 36 run lead. Pacers outing as one would expect with Shaheen Afridi bagging 4, Abbas bagging 3 and a wicket each to Ashraf and Ali.
Pakistan again fail to have a good start as Imran Butt falls early to Roach on duck. Abid Ali’s aggresive start and resistance from Azhar saw Pakistan with a 55 run stand before Roach dislodged the stumps as Azhar Ali walked back ok 23. Babar Azam met a set Abid Ali who soon departed to Seales and in just a couple more deliveries Fawad Alam too was dismissed on duck. Rizwan and Babar Azam get Pakistan back in the contest with a good 56 run stand that saw curtains as Rizwan walked back on 30 to a Holder special. Faheem Ashraf and Azam push Pakistan’s lead and soon Babar Azam had his half century, a key partnership that came to close with the wicket of Faheem on 20 and soon Pakistan lose skipper Babar on 55 as Mayers gets the big fish. With the tail in play Hasan Ali again hurt Windies with a brilliant cameo of 28 that came to close with Seales having a five-wicket haul, Pakistan push with the tail and post 168, a small target but not a comfortable one. A five-fer for Seales, Roach bagged 3 and a wicket each for Holder and Mayers.
Windies chasing 168 didn’t have a comfortable start as Powell was the first to depart on 4 to Afridi, Pakistan got the key wicket of Brathwaite as Afridi again brushed the outside edge of Brathwaite’s bat. Afridi making things difficult for Windies as he picked up Bonner on 5 and Windies were 16-3. Roston Chase and Blackwood calm things in the middle for Windies as they get Windies back in the contest with a fine partnership of 68 runs that saw curtains as Roston Chase walked back on 22, Ashraf with the much wanted breakthrough for Pakistan. Blackwood gets to his half century, Mayers nothing with the bat again as he walks back for a duck, Windies were 5 down for 92. Holder again with a key role started well but his set partner Blackwood departed on 55 and Holder was in with Joshua Da Silva, Holder soon departed on 16 as Hasan Ali got Pakistan a key wicket. Windies were 7 down for 114 chasing 168 to win, Windies with 26 shy lose Joshua Da Silva on 13 and soon Warrican departed as Pakistan were a wicket short and it so remained till the end as Roach remains unbeaten on 30 and Jayden Seales hangs on resulting in a win for Windies by a wicket. Heartbreak for Pakistan, as they were just a wicket away from what could have been a very special win for Pakistan. Shaheed Afridi bagged 4, Hasan Ali had 3 to his name and a couple to Faheem.
Pacers had a lot in offer and did capitalise a lot. Windies manage to win but will not be happy as the result could have gone either ways as it was all down to a wicket in the dying minutes of play. Windies with the win go 1-0 up in the two match series.
A thrilling contest in opening test, Pakistan will look to apply themselves better as after a wicket they hand another making things easy for the opponent to make a comeback, they’ll address the opening issue and will look to have a good second test levelling the series before they leave West Indies.