ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – West Indies defied opener Azhar Ali’s 14th Test century and Pakistan’s attritional batting with sheer perseverance, to leave the decisive third Test at Windsor Park well poised on the second day here Thursday.
The Caribbean side were forced to toil on a lifeless pitch but did so manfully to dismiss Pakistan in their first innings for 376, an hour before the close.
Azhar, starting the day unbeaten on 85, carved out 127 – his second successive hundred following his 105 in the first innings of the Barbados Test last week.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq struck 59 playing in his final Test while wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed produced a breezy 51 down the order.
Part-time off-spinner Roston Chase was the best bowler with four for 103 while captain and seamer Jason Holder claimed three for 71 and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, two for 61.
Left to navigate 11 tricky overs at the end, West Indies openers Kieran Powell (9 not out) and Kraigg Brathwaite (5 not out) endured little horrors to reach the close unscathed on 14 without loss.
The Caribbean side trail Pakistan by 362 runs heading into the pivotal day three of the match.
Summarized scores: West Indies 14 for 0 (Powell 9*, Brathwaite 5*) trail Pakistan 376 (Azhar 127, Misbah 59, Azam 55, Sarfraz 51, Chase 4-103) by 362 runs
Kings XI barely defend 230 to stay alive
A 453-run slugfest – the second-highest aggregate in IPL history – was decided in the final over with Mohit Sharma defending 15 to deny a rampaging Kieron Pollard as Kings XI Punjab lived to fight another day.
The odds were stacked against Mohit, especially after he had leaked 49 off his first three overs. Mumbai Indians were within touching distance of achieving the highest successful chase in the IPL. Kings XI let the pressure get to them; Glenn Maxwell, one of their best fielders, palmed the ball over the long-off boundary to reprieve Karn Sharma on 5. They had to contend with dew as well. Sandeep Sharma then pulled things back by conceding just seven off the penultimate over. Maxwell could have chosen either Ishant Sharma or Mohit for the last over. He went with his tried-and-tested end-overs specialist, and Mohit delivered.
The first ball – full on off stump – was belted to long-on, and Pollard hared across for the second, but replays indicated that he did not slide his bat inside the crease at the non-striker’s end. It was called one short, but Pollard still had the strike. Mohit then unfurled the slower knuckle ball and watched it disappear into the boundary behind midwicket. It was down to nine off four balls. Mohit nailed three pinpoint yorkers and a dipping knuckle ball, which Pollard did not pick, to seal the deal.
Summarized scores: Kings XI Punjab 230 for 3 (Saha 93*, Maxwell 47) beat Mumbai Indians 223 for 6 (Simmons 59, Pollard 50*, Mohit 2-57) by seven runs