DUBAI: Pakistan had to fight hard to win the first Test by 56 runs, the second ever day-night Test and their 400th after West Indian batsmen fought tooth and nail at Dubai stadium.
Darren Bravo became the biggest hurdle between Pakistan and victory as he batted with resolve, negating Pakistan’s main weapon Yasir Shah until the leg-spinner caught him, leaping in the air to get him for 116.
It was an innings of defiance despite losing his most senior partner Marlon Samuels off the first ball of the day to Mohammad Amir but that did not deter Bravo as he added an invaluable 77 for the fifth wicket with Roston Chase who made 35.
He further frustrated Pakistan with a 69-run stand for the seven wicket with Jason Holder who made 40 not out as West Indies finally bowled out for 289.
Bravo was defiance personified as he never allowed any bowler to perturb him, driving with power and defending with conviction. It justified his 54plus average in away Tests — the best by any West Indian batsmen in their history. Not even Seymour Nurse, neither Viv Richards or Brian Lara or Gary Sobers could boast of that average.
It was the first century by a West Indian batsman in the fourth innings since Shivnarine Chanderpaul knocked one against England at Old Trafford in 2007.
Their defiance recalled the memories of West Indies ‘s narrow escape against India at Jamaica in July this year when Chase scored an unbelieveable 137 not out.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq had rested his hopes on leg-spinner Yasir Shah who did not bowl well in the first session, pitching the ball short and fast. It never allowed the ball to spin and batsmen to fall in trap. May be the pitch was not as deteriorated as Pakistan would have expected.
In hindsight Pakistan would rue why they did not play their mature spinner Zulfiqar Babar who would have beguiled the inexperienced West Indian batsmen. But again hinsight is the best way to overcome what you have not done.
Finally in the 72nd over Chase smashed a boundary but the very next ball Yasir beat him from across the feet and hit the stumps. Next over Wahab Riaz clean bowled Shane Dowrich for nought as the batsman was expecting a bouncer.
The occasion of Pakistan’s 400th Test became memorable and Misbah has now 23 wins in 47 Tests as captain