Action continued from Sabina Park, a must win game for Pakistan to level the Test series, West Indies will fight for a win to bag the two test match series 2-0. Changes, both team make a change each Nauman Ali replaces Yasir Shah and for Windies Joseph replaces Warrican.
Both openers were off the mark first ball and then West Indies strike ball 3 as Roach found the outside edge of Abid Ali. Roach again with the wicket this time Azhar Ali’s stay ends on duck after facing an over. Seales had his first as Imran Butt walked back with 1 to his name facing a couple of overs. Pakistan 2-3, Babar Azam and Fawad Alam were on rescue and did well to settle things for Pakistan and did in some style with a magnificent partnership of 158* runs where Babar Azam got to his 50 and soon Fawad Alam following the footprints of his skipper put up a fine 50 and minutes later batting on 75 had to walk back with a cramped right leg. Md. Rizwan joined skipper Babar Azam who soon on a brilliant innings of 75 walked back to an absolutely peach from Roach who handed Windies a much needed breakthrough. Faheem Ashraf continued to contribute with Rizwan going good on the other end as both end day 1 unbeaten on 23 and 22 respectively. Bad light had stopped Windies pacers from bowling and spinners weren’t effective, sensible from Windies to call the day.
Rain ensured a washout on day 2. Action on day 3 resumed but late and after 8 deliveries the bowlers were unhappy with the damp near the foot landing position and the umpires after an animated chat suspended play until groundsmen get the pitch ready to go, players walked off the field and was also lunch with just 8 deliveries. Play resumed post lunch and it was Jayden Seales with the early wicket as he trapped Faheem Ashraf lbw on 26 and Fawad Alam made his way to the middle to continue from his 75. Holder wasn’t late to join the action as he trapped Rizwan lbw on 31 and very next ball found the outside edge of Nauman Ali, was some brilliant catch by the keeper Da Silva handing a golden duck to Nauman Ali. Hasan Ali was next in and survived the hat-trick delivery. Meanwhile, Fawad Alam got to his 5th test century, this was one of the finest. An unlike Hasan Ali who was very defensive was run out on the other end on 9 off 24. Shaheen Shah Afridi played a brilliant cameo scoring 19 off 33 before being dismissed. Abbas was next in and survived 4 balls to complete the over as Pakistan declare on 302-9 and Fawad Alam remained unbeaten on 124, top class. For Windies, it was Roach and Seales with three wickets each and Holder had a couple to his name.
Windies in reply lose opener Powell early on 5 followed by skipper Brathwaite who departed on 4, Shaheen Shah Afridi handed Pakistan a dream start. Bonner and Chase hang in a few overs and score a few odd boundaries before Faheem Ashraf dislodged the stumps of Chase on 10. Nightwatchman, Alzarri Joseph and Bonner survived the dying minutes of play on day 3 with Bonner unbeaten on 18(37) and Alzarri 0*(16) as Windies end day 3 on 39-3. Action on Day 4 saw Alzarri Joseph depart early on 4 and Jermaine Blackwood was next in and with a set Bonner got Windies back in the game with a 60 run stand that came to close with the wicket of Bonner on 37 and it was Abbas with the breakthrough for Pakistan and on the very next ball got the wicket of Mayers handing him a golden duck, Holder made his way out and survived the hat-trick delivery. Shaheen Shah Afridi striked a set Blackwood in the next over as Windies failed to capitalise and Joshua’s very short stay saw curtains on 6 as Roach was in the middle. Shaheen Shah Afridi got to his five-fer as he brushed the outside edge of an aggresive Holder on 26(30), was a quick fire, a handy cameo. Shaheen Afridi with the wicket of Kemar Roach got to his career-best figures, 6-51. Windies end on 150 that saw a six-wicket haul for Shaheen, 3 for Abbas and a wicket for Faheem Ashraf. Pakistan with the lead of 152 start the next innings.
Pakistan in reply, decided to come out with an aggresive intent to up the scoring. Pakistan were off to a flyer with openers scoring quick runs and the 50* partnership was up in 6 overs. Alzarri Joseph got Windies the breakthrough on 70 as Abid Ali walked back on 29(23). Azhar Ali continued with the same tempo but soon Imran Butt fell on 37 as Mayers had a wicket to his name. Babar Azam joined Azhar Ali and pushed the scoring, Azhar was next to depart on 22(30) and it was part-timer Kraigg Brathwaite with the wicket this time. Hasan Ali was promoted up the order with his power hitting ability and didn’t fail to impress as he put up a quick 17 off 11. Faheem was next to depart on 9, Rizwan and Babar continued to accelerate and Pakistan declared on 176 with the wicket of Babar Azam on 33(41). Pakistan posted a strong 329 on board, Holder and Seales had a couple of wickets each, Mayers and Brathwaite striked a wicket each in the 27.2 overs of Pakistan’s second innings. Windies had a few overs to see off on day 4.
In reply Windies had a decent start as both openers looked good in the middle, dying minutes of play Powell who looked good on 23(41) failed to ground his bat handing a wicket to Pakistan. Alzarri Joseph was in as Nightwatchman and did the job as skipper Brathwaite and Alzarri walked back unbeaten on 17 and 8 respectively. Proceedings on day 5 resumed with a lovely boundary off Alzarri Joseph’s bat a few more runs before Shaheen Shah Afridi got Pakistan an early wicket in the day dismissing Alzarri Joseph on 17. Nkrumah Bonner was in next and failed to stitch a partnership as he walked back on 2(8). In walked Roston Chase who’s 15 ball stay on duck came to end as he brushed one to Imran Butt at second slip, good low catch that. Jermaine Blackwood joined skipper Brathwaite and settled things a bit after three early wickets, not a lot but was a small partnership that saw curtains with Blackwood’s wicket on 25 as Nauman Ali striked for Pakistan in the dying minutes of first session. Immediately after lunch spinner Nauman had his 2nd as Kraigg Brathwaite’s resistance came to end on 39(147). Mayers and Holder in the middle get Windies back on track with a 46 run stand which was disturbed with the wicket of Mayers on 3(16), Holder was going well and kept the strike for the maximum time. Short rain interruption and play resumed, Windies were in attacking mindset and there were few shots before Holder was dismissed on a fine 43(83) as the spinner had his third. Couple more very short stays before Windies were all out for 219 as Pakistan win the second test comprehensively by 109 run margin. The bowlers always set the show for Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi bagged 4, that’s a 10 win haul for him in the match. A couple for Hasan Ali and a three-fer for the spinner Nauman.
Windies continue their poor run with the bat, mostly been a man or two show. They fail to stitch partnerships and after a wicket they hand a wicket or couple more comforting the opponent. West Indies require textbook players, Jason Holder and Kraigg Brathwaite are the prefect defining examples. The bowling has been good despite Shanon Gabriel’s absence that’s a big plus as youngster Seales is making it count.
Pakistan were brilliant throughout the test match, the opening has been an issue but the gritty middle order get Pakistan back in the game. Pakistan will need to relook at their opening for long run. The current bowling department with Hasan Ali from an end helping the other pacers is a big plus for Pakistan, ever since his return he’s looked dangerous both with the bat and ball.
The first test, Windies won by a wicket, was a test that could have either ways as it was a matter of one good delivery but credit to Windies they absorbed the pressure well and finished the game. Pakistan put up a fantastic display to level the the two match test series 1-1.