West Indies in driving seat
SHARJAH: Jason Holder carried on the good work of Kraigg Brathwaite as West Indies sensed a rare victory in a Test against a formidable opponent for over a year.
After three days of domination West Indies will need some more aggression to dismiss Pakistan in their second innings and then wipe off the target for the consolation win after losing the first two Tests.
At close Pakistan were struggling for survival as they lost four top order batsmen for 87, leading by 31 runs with two full days to play.
Opener Azhar Ali held the innings with 45 and with him Sarfraz Ahmed on 19 as all four batsmen fell to injudicious shots. It could have been five down for pakistan had Shannon Gabriel not overstepping after getting Ahmed caught in the slip for nine.
Opener Sami Aslam started the downfall when he hooked Holder high in the deep, then Asad Shafiq fended a short ball to slip for a pair in the match, Younis Khan edging the ball from leg side and did not taking review. That gave Holder 3-10, all three in successive overs in the space of 17 balls and 11 runs.
Misbah-ul-Haq of all the people played a rash shot to throw his wicket to innocuous off-spinner Roston Chase for 4, leaving Pakistan to 48-4, with still eight runs to wipe off West Indies lead of 56.
It was Kraigg Brathwaite who set the tone for West Indies’ domination as he carried his bat through the innings with a resolute 142. His knock carried West Indies to 337 which gave them a lead for the first time in the series.
He became the fifth West Indian batsmen to carry his bat through the innings with Desmond Haynes doing the feat thrice. Sir Frank Worrell, Conrad Hune and Chris Gayle have also achieved the feat for West Indies.
Brathwaite frustrated Pakistan’s bowling as well as captain Misbah-ul-Haq who were left to search ways as to how to get rid of the West Indian opener. They didn’t find one till the end.
Brathwaite added 60 for the eighth wicket with Devendra Bishoo which gave West Indies an important 56-run lead. This was after 13th time that West Indies had conceded a first-inns lead (when they batted second.
It was left to Wahab Riaz to use his fiery pace to settle the case, taking the last three wickest to finish with 5-88 — his second five wicket haul in Tests. It took him 19 Tests to achieve the feat after his first came in his debut Test against England in 2010.