Pakistan take complete control against West Indies

·3 min read
Mohammad Abbas celebrates Joshua de Silva's dismissal

Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed career-best figures of six for 51 in leading the rout of the West Indies for just 150 in the first innings as Pakistan surged into complete control of the second Test of the two-match series at tea on the fourth day at Sabina Park on Monday.

Resuming at the overnight position of 39 for three in reply to the tourists’ first innings effort of 302 for nine declared, the home side lost their last six wickets for 45 runs to be dismissed shortly after lunch as 21-year-old Shaheen reinforced his domination of the Caribbean batsmen.

He lifted his wicket tally in the series to 14, and with the prospect of a final tilt at their beleaguered opponents on the last day of the series on Tuesday.

Going in search of quick runs in pursuit of a huge lead before the close of play to set the stage for a series-equalling victory push on day five, Pakistan reached tea at 107 for three.

That gave them an overall lead of 259 runs with captain Babar Azam expected to be joined by first innings centurion Fawad Alam at the start of the final session of the day.

As impressively as Shaheen bowled though, it was Mohammad Abbas who triggered the pivotal collapse with a three-wicket burst in the last half-hour of the morning session as the West Indies crashed from 105 for four to 116 for eight.

Abbas, who had gone wicketless before that spell, made amends with the wickets of topscorer Nkrumah Bonner (37) and Kyle Mayers off successive balls, both to catches by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, before adding Joshua da Silva to his haul via the LBW route in the penultimate over before lunch.

Shaheen, who disposed of nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph swiftly at the start of the day, joined in the midday clatter of wickets by having Jermaine Blackwood taken for 33 by a diving Fawad Alam at gully.

Bonner and Blackwood put on 60 for the fifth wicket in the only period of play when the Pakistan bowlers appeared to be growing in frustration.

However the effort could not be sustained and having taken the first two wickets of the innings late on the third day, Shaheen terminated the bold hitting of Jason Holder via a catch to Rizwan and had Kemar Roach taken at mid-on to complete an effective mopping up job in the early afternoon.

Abbas’ measured accuracy proved the perfect foil to the vibrant Shaheen as he finished with figures of three for 44.

Emboldened by their utterly dominant position in starting the second innings already with a lead of 152 runs, Abid Ali and Imran Butt played their shots with an air of abandon in putting on 70 by just the tenth over of the second innings.

Both fell before the interval, Abid to Joseph for 29 and Imran to Mayers for 37.

With Azhar Ali and captain Babar Azam also looking for quick runs, the West Indies spread the field and engaged in consistent wide, leg-side bowling, prompting stern words by umpire Joel Wilson to home skipper Kraigg Brathwaite.

Brathwaite had the last laugh though as Azhar top-edged a sweep off the part-time bowler to fall in what proved to be the last ball of an immensely productive session for Pakistan.

str/nr