West Indies dominated the opening day of the first Test after Pakistan lost wickets in a hurry to be bowled out for 217. That, until Pakistan struck back fiercely in the third over as Mohammed Abbas sent back Kieran Powell and Nkrumah Bonner for ducks in successive deliveries to peg West Indies back. Bad light forced Pakistan an early close to Day 1 in Jamaica with the hosts ending the day on 2 for 2 in four overs.
The only reason Pakistan got to a total of over 200 was thanks to Fawad Alam, who kept West Indies at bay with a more-than-handy 56 after his side were reduced to 123 for 5 at one stage. Faheem Ashraf and Alam settled into a sixth-wicket stand that was worth 85 keeping West Indies at bay. They scored at a quick pace with boundaries flowing at will. Anything pitched outside off, they put away as the pair revived Pakistan’s innings that seemed to be going nowhere. Ashraf fell against the run of play on 44 when he was caught short of his crease when going for a quick run as West Indies broke the resilient stand. Alam fell soon after and the rest followed as Pakistan lost their last five wickets for 31 runs.
The middle session was a drama-filled one in Jamaica with as many as six reviews taken in the 32 overs bowled after Lunch on Thursday (August 12) after West Indies opted to bowl. After an early lunch break was forced due to a rain interruption just 17 overs into the opening day’s play, West Indies’ bowlers continued where they left off and were right on the money after resumption. Just like they had bowled in the morning session with utmost discipline, they posed questions right from the first over after lunch when Azhar Ali was given out caught-behind, poking at one. The batsman reviewed it and with nothing on UltraEdge, the decision was reversed. He went on to add 47 runs with Babar Azam as the third-wicket duo steadied the Pakistan ship.
Azhar was on the edge once again when he was given out leg-before after shouldering arms to an in-seamer. He reviewed once again to find the ball going over the stumps. Jason Holder didn’t relent, once again going for a review for a leg-before call against the batsman, who was saved by the umpire’s call in terms of the impact despite the ball crashing into the stumps. Azhar survived his fourth LBW call with the ball found to be missing leg stump.
However, it was fifth time lucky for West Indies as Jayden Seales forced an outside edge off Azhar’s bat as the batsman fended an away-seamer. Pakistan once again, like in the first session, lost two wickets in successive overs as Roach then beat Babar on the inside edge off a sharp in-seamer. Babar was initially given not out, but West Indies reviewed as a spike was spotted on UltraEdge, forcing him to make the long walk back for 30.
Seales then thought he had Mohammed Rizwan leg-before but the impact was slightly outside off and saved the batsman as there was still no sign of spin. Rizwan, however, couldn’t make the most of his reprieve departing via a soft dismissal flicking a full delivery straight to Roston Chase stationed at square leg, ending a reviving fifth-wicket stand of 33 with Alam. Alam thereafter joined hands with the lower order to save Pakistan the blushes.
Brief scores: Pakistan217 (Babar Azam 30, Fawad Alam 56, Faheem Ashraf 44; Kemar Roach 2-47, Jayden Seales 3-70, Jason Holder 3-26)lead West Indies 2/2 (Mohammad Abbas 2-0) by 215 runs.
(Story from Cricbuzz)