SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates — Kraigg Brathwaite with an unbeaten 95 ensured that the West Indies had 12 hours of good Test cricket against Pakistan, at the end of the second day of the third Test at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
After bowling well on day one, the West Indies batsmen came to the park on day two and all of a sudden this team which was dominated in the first two matches, looked the part. Brathwaite’s effort enabled the West Indies to reach 244 for six in reply to Pakistan’s first innings score of 281 all out, which means they Caribbean team needs just another 38 runs to overhaul the hosts.
Brathwaite showed that great batsmanship was not only about hitting away the bad balls but defying the potentially dangerous ones and was able to create the backbone of the innings, which has been sadly missing on this tour thus far. He picked up his bat 40 minutes into the day’s play and still had it in hands at the end of the day. As he glanced at the scoreboard he would have seen 95 not out of 206 balls with 10 fours. He forged two useful partnerships with countrymen Roston Chase of 83 and Shane Dowrich 83, to keep the West Indies with their noses just in front in this Test. Chase made an even 50, while Dowrich scored 47 to help the cause.
Earlier, Pakistan resumed on the bedtime position of 255 for eight and some lusty blows by Mohammed Amir and Yasir Shah took them to 281, before both men played on to Alzari Joseph, bringing the innings to a close. Amir got 20 and Shah 12, as Joseph ended with 2/57, while Shannon Gabriel took three for 65 and Devendra Bishoo who did not bowl yesterday four for 74.
A fired up Amir kept both West Indies openers Brathwaite and Leon Johnson honest but it was Wahab Riaz who made the breakthrough. He took two deliveries away from the Johnson before darting one back, that caught the left-hander on the backfoot, trapping his leg before for one.
Darren Bravo promised much clipping his first delivery beautifully through midwicket for four but a brilliant catch by the pumped up Amir saw his back. He tried to go over the top against left arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar and skied the ball over cover. Amir ran back, then made a final leap in the air, to pluck the ball out. A lot depended on Marlon Samuels but again he failed to deliver. He was leg before to Shah without scoring, although he reviewed the dismissal (3rd time in five innings on this tour) and was still sent on his way. Brathwaite, a spectator at the other end took West Indies to lunch at 38 for three, his contribution an unbeaten 21.
After the break Jermaine Blackwood middled some but his immaturity led to his downfall. Amir finally got a wicket of his own as the lead footed right hander played away from his body only to edge to Asad Shafiq at slip for 23.
Chase joined Brathwaite with the score at 68 for four and it looked as if the West Indies would have folded easily from that point. The tall Barbadian came out and looked positive against the Pakistani spin/pace combination. While Brathwaite was getting a workover from Wahab, Chase looked solid at the other end. Brathwaite saw through this torrid period and together with Chase they took the score to 141 for four at tea – a partnership of 73 runs for the fifth wicket. Brathwaite had recorded his half century of 109 balls with sixes fours.
After the break the runs continue to come the West Indies way and Chase played a brilliant ondrive to reach his half century. He faced 86 balls, striking six fours and a six. However on reaching his half century he played a wide delivery angled across him from Amir and was out. His stand with Brathwaite was worth 83 runs and brought the West Indies right back into the contest.
All the while, Brathwaite was playing well within his means and keeping the Pakistani fast bowlers at bay. They tested him time and time again with the short ball but he was effective in leaving those deliveries and evening pulling a couple to the fence. Joined by the plucky little wicketkeeper Dowrich he was able to move the score along nicely. The two looked as if they would take West Indies to the close but with seven overs to go, Dowrich played at a wide delivery which crashed into his timber. He scored 47 of 90 balls with five fours and a six.
PAKISTAN 281 (Sami Aslam 74, Misbah-ul-Haq 53, Sarfraz Ahmed 51, Younis Khan 51; Devendra Bishoo 4-77, Shannon Gabriel 3-67, Alzarri Joseph 2-57)
WEST INDIES 244 for six (Kraigg Brathwaite 95 not out, Roston Chase 50, Shane Dowrich 47; Mohammed Amir 2-44, Wahab Riaz 2-65)
PAKISTAN 1st innings (overnight 255 for eight)
Sami Aslam c Holder b Bishoo 74
Azhar Ali c Brathwaite b Gabriel 0
Asad Shafiq lbw b Gabriel 0
Younis Khan c Johnson b Chase 51
*Misbah-ul-Haq c wkp Dowrich b Bishoo 53
+Sarfraz Ahmed b Gabriel 51
Mohammad Nawaz st wkp Dowrich b Bishoo 6
Wahab Riaz lbw b Bishoo 4
Yasir Shah b Joseph 12
Mohammad Amir b Joseph 20
Zulfiqar Babar not out 1
Extras (lb4, w1, nb4) 9
TOTAL (all out, 90.5 overs) 281
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-1, 3-107, 4-150, 5-230, 6-242, 7-248, 8-248, 9-280, 10-281.
Bowling: Gabriel 21-1-67-3 (nb2), Joseph 16.5-5-57-2 (w1, nb2), Holder 12-4-29-0, Chase 20-5-47-1, Bishoo 21-3-77-4.
WEST INDIES 1st innings
K Brathwaite not out 95
L Johnson lbw b Wahab Riaz 1
D Bravo c Mohammad Amir b Zulfiqar Babar 11
M Samuels lbw b Yasir Shah 0
J Blackwood c Asad Shafiq b Mohammad Amir 23
R Chase c Younis Khan b Mohammad Amir 50
+S Dowrich b Wahab Riaz 47
*J Holder not out 6
Extras (lb6, nb5) 11
TOTAL (6 wkts, 78 overs) 244
To bat: D Bishoo, S Gabriel, A Joseph.
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-32, 3-38, 4-68, 5-151, 6-234.
Bowling: Mohammed Amir 17-4-44-2 (nb2), Wahab Riaz 16-0-65-2 (nb3), Yasir Shah 18-2-56-1, Zulfiqar Babar 17-3-45-1, Mohammed Nawaz 4-0-12-0, Azhar Ali 6-0-16-0.
Position: West Indies trail by 37 runs with four wickets intact.
Umpires: M Gough, P Reiffel; TV – R Illingworth.