Babar Azam stretches Pakistan’s lead to 124 runs in first Test


Jamaica: Skipper Babar Azam stood tall from the one end and stroked a gutsy half-century on Day three of the first Test.

The 26-year-old Babar is unbeaten on 54 alongside all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, who is on 12. Pakistan finished on 160/5 at stumps on Day three and have a crucial lead of 124 runs.

In the morning session, they were again in a state of bother as Imran Butt failed to get off the mark. The Barbadian Kemar Roach trapped Imran in front in the third over.

After an increasingly promising 55-run stand between the other opener, Abid Ali, and former captain Azhar Ali, Roach then produced a sharp off-cutter to Azhar (23) which clipped the right-hander’s leg-stump as he shuffled too far across the crease off what proved to be the final ball of the morning.

Jayden Seales copied the pre-lunch exploits of senior pacer Kemar Roach in taking two quick wickets of Abid Ali (34) and Fawad Alam (0) at the start of the afternoon session.

The visitors lost wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan straight after a long rain break as he edged one to the keeper off Jason Holder. Rizwan scored 30 off 63, adding a vital 56 for the fifth wicket with Babar.

Babar was supported in a defensive manner by Faheem till the stumps as they added 39 off 24.5 overs.

Earlier, Shaheen Shah wrapped West Indies’ innings in just 16 balls by dismissing Jomel Warrican and Joshua da Silva. The home side finished on 253 with 36 runs lead.

The 21-year-old, the pick of the Pakistani bowlers, finished with figures of 4/59 while Abbas bagged three for 43.

Yesterday, Kraigg Braithwaite and Holder put up a fight after the hosts were struggling at 100/5. Braithwaite misses his century by three runs while Holder scored 58.

Remember, Pakistan scored 217 in the first innings courtesy of Fawad’s 56 and Faheem’s 44.