Holder Fifty Only Spark Amidst Gloom

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Captain Jason Holder struck his fifth Test half-century but only 69 balls were possible as rain wrecked the second day of the opening Test between West Indies and Pakistan here Saturday.

When heavy rain brought an abrupt end to the already truncated day’s play at 3:05 pm (4:05 Eastern Caribbean time) after just 55 minutes of action, West Indies had reached 278 for nine, with Holder unbeaten on 55.

He had so far faced 69 deliveries and struck seven fours and two sixes.

Wet spots in the outfield and on the bowlers run-up had earlier forced the abandonment of the opening session, pushing back the start to an hour-and-a-half following the scheduled lunch break at Sabina Park.

Resuming on 244 for seven, West Indies flourished early as overnight batsmen Holder and Devendra Bishoo extended their eighth wicket stand to 75 – a record against Pakistan – before being separated.

On 23 at the start, Bishoo had added five when he lost his discipline, fished at one from impressive left-arm seamer Mohammed Amir and nicked a catch behind in the eighth over of the session with the Windies on 264 for eight.

Amir, Pakistan’s best bowler with five for 41, then struck again in his next over, removing Alzarri Joseph without scoring after breaching the right-hander’s defence and hitting middle and off.

Holder, resuming from 30, got lucky with a couple of streaky fours to third man to move into the 40s but there was no lack of conviction when he lifted seamer Mohammad Abbas for a beautiful straight six to reach his landmark, 40 minutes after the start.

There was enough time for Shannon Gabriel, unbeaten on four, to bludgeon Amir through mid-off to the boundary before the heavens opened a few balls later.

WEST INDIES 1st Innings

(overnight 244 for seven)

K Brathwaite c Younis Khan b Mohammad Abbas 0

K Powell c Younis Khan b Mohammad Amir 33

S Hetmyer b Mohammad Amir 11

S Hope b Mohammad Amir 2

V Singh c Azhar Ali b Wahab Riaz 9

R Chase c Wahab Riaz b Yasir Shah 63

+S Dowrich b Yasir Shah 56

*J Holder not out 55

D Bishoo c wkp Sarfraz Ahmed b Mohammed Amir 28

A Joseph b Mohammed Amir 0

S Gabriel not out 4

Extras (lb17) 17

TOTAL (9 wkts, 92.3 overs) 278

Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Brathwaite), 2-24 (Hetmyer), 3-32 (Hope), 4-53 (Singh), 5-71 (Powell), 6-189 (Chase), 7-189 (Dowrich), 8-264 (Bishoo), 9-274 (Joseph).

Bowling: Mohammad Amir 24.3-11-41-5, Mohammad Abbas 22-4-63-1, Wahab Riaz 22-5-66-1, Yasir Shah 24-5-91-2.

PAKISTAN – Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Abbas.

Toss: Pakistan.

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

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