Point to Highlight
West Indies close the second day of the first test with 251 for 8 wickets on the scoreboard against Pakistan only with the help of Brathwaite’ 97 and Holders fifty and made of 34 runs.
West Indies and Pakistan’s last Test match four years ago was a classic, and if the events of the second day at Sabina Park are anything to go by, we may be in for another one over the coming days. On an attritional day of Test cricket that didn’t swing as much as it swayed in either direction, the teams go in at stumps in a Test that refuses to decisively tip one way or another just yet. Simple math would dictate the hosts have the edge, leading as they do by 34 runs with two wickets still to spare, but with Yasir Shah in the fourth innings a historically significant factor, all bets will be off.
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Kraigg Brathwaite (97) dominated the day, surviving almost through to the end after having to settle nerves after the frenetic finish of last night. He saw off each of Pakistan’s pace bowlers, the first new ball, a dangerous middle-order collapse, the introduction of Yasir, and two full sessions. But soon after the most threatening partnership for West Indies, between the captain and Jason Holder (58), had been broken having added 95 runs, Brathwaite was eyeing up a personal three-figure score, too – ideally before the new ball in darkening conditions, with Mohammad Abbas warming up.
But just as West Indies looked poised to take control, Pakistan struck. Hasan, who had been testing the pair in his first three overs, especially when they got on the front foot, coaxed an expansive front-foot drive from Chase that wasn’t really on. It produced a tickle through to Rizwan, with an anguished look from the batter revealing quite how ordinary the shot was.
The second session was a dogged, scrappy affair that – one sensational over from Afridi aside – West Indies negotiated with relative conviction. The problem for them, though, was that the session would be defined by four balls from Afridi more than anything any batter could manage.
Just after West Indies brought up the 100, Pakistan broke through with the wicket they had threatened before lunch. Jermaine Blackwood’s punchy counter-attacking knock might have been evocative of Rizwan’s cameo on the first day but it wasn’t nearly as assured, with all four of his boundaries coming off shots he wasn’t in control of. Afridi landed one in the slot for him to go after, but with the ball wobbling in the air, Blackwood only managed to toe-end it to Abbas at long-on. The very next ball, Kyle Mayers was struck full on the pad and found himself departing for a golden duck.
It might have gotten worse for West Indies. Two balls later, the irrepressible Afridi had Holder trapped in front, with the umpire raising the finger. The allrounder would survive by the barest of margins, with the review showing the ball pitching just outside leg stump.
All in all a huge role was played by the West Indies bowler especially by the Holder(3 wickets) and batsmen to chase the Score against Fast bowler team Pakistan Successfully.