BRIDGTOWN: West Indies lost two more wickets as they worked themselves into the lead at 112 for three at lunch on the fourth day of the second Test against Pakistan at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Wednesday.
Trailing on first innings by 81 runs, the home side will continue in the afternoon session ahead by 31 runs with the pair of Shai Hope and Roston Chase at the crease.
Pakistan struck an early blow after the West Indies resumed at 40 for one when Mohammad Amir bowled Shimron Hetmyer before the left-hander could add to his overnight score of 22.
However Kraigg Brathwaite continued to bat resolutely in partnership with new batsman Hope, the pair putting on 56 for the third wicket despite the varying challenges posed by the tourists’ combination of pace and wrist-spin.
It was the more experienced of the two leg-spinners, Yasir Shah, who provided the breakthrough when he removed the obdurate Brathwaite for 43.
Bowling round the wicket and seeking to exploit the rough areas outside the right-hander’s leg-stump, Shah managed to get a delivery to bounce and turn sharply to take the shoulder of the bat for Younis Khan to pull in his fourth catch of the match diving to his right at slip.
Fresh from a century in the first innings, Chase started confidently alongside Hope, who reached the interval on 25 with his fellow Barbadian on 12.
With the deteriorating nature of the pitch presenting increasing challenges to the batsmen, West Indies will be banking on their middle and lower order in pursuit of a lead in excess of 175 runs as they seek a series-levelling victory ahead of the third and final Test beginning in a week’s time in Dominica.
Pakistan are yet to win a Test match at Kensington Oval in six previous attempts dating back to 1958 and victory here will also earn them a Test series triumph in the Caribbean for the first time ever.