Pakistan leg spinner Yasir Shah made the most of a deteriorating fourth-day pitch to leave West Indies desperately staring at defeat in the first Test at Sabina Park in Kingston.
The 30-year-old Shah has accounted for all wickets to fall so far as the regional side teetered on 93-4 in their second innings — trailing by 28 runs with six wickets in hand.Debutante middle-order batsman Vishaul Singh and night watchman Devendra Bishoo — both yet to get off the mark — are set to resume 9:30 am on today’s fifth and final day.Yesterday, Pakistan benefited from some sloppy fielding from West Indies to progress from 201-4 overnight to 407 in their first innings — giving them a significant lead of 121 runs.Scores: West Indies 286 (95 overs) & 93-4 (28 overs); India 407 (138.4 overs)Misbah was the mainstay of the Pakistan batting before he was left stranded on 99 not out. He hit five fours and three sixes in an obdurate knock spanning 223 deliveries, and in the process, crossed 5,000 runs in Test cricket.
Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, who added 88 runs with Misbah for the sixth wicket, made a breezy 54 off 70 balls.During his knock, Sarfraz crossed 2,000 to add to the milestones already achieved in Sabina’s 50th Test.Outside of the Misbah’s feat, Younis Khan reached 10,000 runs in Tests while compiling 58 on Sunday in a match that is the 50th between West Indies and Pakistan in this format.Shannon Gabriel, a tireless worker all day, and his young pace bowling partner Alzarri Joseph, who generally kept to accurate lines, ended with three wickets each in sunny conditions on a pitch that was still relatively decent for batting.But for all their bowling effort, missed opportunities in the field let Pakistan off the hook on a number of occasions.
Misbah and Asad Shafiq were both unbeaten on five at yesterday morning’s start, and with only 10 deliveries to the new ball, West Indies skipper Jason Holder — anxiously hunting an early breakthrough — took it as soon as it was due at the end of the 80th over.Misbah, on 14, was surprised by a fast, short delivery from Shannon Gabriel, and the ball popped off the glove to Singh at short leg but the fielder could not complete the catch while diving forward.
Shafiq went for 22 when he was hurried on to the back foot by a short of a length delivery from Gabriel, and the resultant tentative shot offered an edge to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.
Early on, Misbah was uncertain and sometimes awkward in dealing with a largely disciplined West Indies bowling unit, but eventually the wily, veteran campaigner got settled and unleashed a handful of booming aerial drives and dismissive slog sweep shots.At the other end, the ever-busy wicketkeeper/batsman Sarfraz Ahmed streaked to a half-century with a series of attacking strokes. On 50, he escaped when wicketkeeper Dowrich missed a stumping chance off off-spinner Roston Chase in the over before the lunch break.
Not long after, wrist-spinner Bishoo, going around the wicket, bowled Sarfraz behind his legs with a biting leg break as the batsman missed a sweep.There was more wastefulness in the field when Amir, on four, was dropped by diving gully fielder Shai Hope off Joseph’s short delivery. The young, lanky bowler eventually had the wicket when Amir (11) edged a back of a length delivery for Dowrich to complete the job.
And Joseph’s perseverance gave him even further reward. In getting a delivery to jag back into the right-hander he beat Wahab Riaz (nine) between bat and pad and hit the top of leg stump.
Substitute fielder Jermaine Blackwood completed a direct hit of the stumps when Shah (eight) wandered from his crease seeking a single.Misbah kept plodding on at the other end but he was painfully left short of the three-figure mark when debutante Mohammad Abbas (one) was trapped leg before wicket by Chase.
Batting a second time, West Indies were rattled by Shah as the spinner, who skilfully slipped in a few quick and straight deliveries, found turn and bounce, especially bowling around the wicket.
He clean bowled opener Kraigg Brathwaite (14) before also accounting for 20-year-old Shimron Hetmyer (20) when the left-hander played onto his stumps after carelessly backing away to the leg side.
Shai Hope’s struggles at Test level continued when he was trapped lbw by the spinner for six.Left-hand opener Kieran Powell, who played several delectable drives on both sides of the wicket, was the biggest blow to the West Indies.
He went for 49 just before close when Shah landed one in the rough outside the left-hander’s off stump that found the edge and flew comfortably to Younis Khan at first slip. (Jamaica Observer)