ROSEAU, Dominica: Azhar Ali’s part-time leg-spin broke a stubborn fourth-wicket partnership as the West Indies reached 152 for four in reply to Pakistan’s first innings 376 at tea on the third day of the third and final Test on Friday.
Having batted grittily for almost three hours at Windsor Park in Dominica, Shai Hope mistimed a drive off the very last ball of the afternoon session to be caught for 29, ending a 55-run partnership with Roston Chase.
Chase will resume in the final session on 41 with Vishaul Singh expected to partner him in the middle.
On a pitch offering little encouragement for the faster bowlers, leg-spinner Yasir Shah posed the greatest threat to the batsmen after he had taken all three wickets to fall in the morning session, lifting his tally in the series to 20.
Hope, who impressed with a patient, determined innings of 90 on the penultimate day of the second Test in Barbados, was again a model of correctness and discipline until his critical error of judgement.
Chase, who scored a fluent century in the first innings of that match at Kensington Oval, was more positive in contrast.
Nevertheless both found run-scoring difficult and had moments of good fortune.
Troubled again by Shah operating round the wicket, Chase was given out caught at slip by Younis Khan as he swung at the leg-spinner.
However the decision of standing umpire Richard Illingworth was overturned on review of the television replays.
There was more frustration for the bowler in his very next over as Asad Shafiq failed to hold on to a fierce square-cut from Hope.
Earlier, Shah raised Pakistan’s hopes of dismissing the West Indies cheaply despite the placid pitch.
Entrusted with the ball at the start of the day by captain Misbah-ul-Haq, the premier spinner did not disappoint, breaking a 43-run opening partnership between Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell.
Attempting to heave a delivery over the midwicket fence, Powell’s miscued shot was well caught by Azhar Ali running in off the boundary to send the left-hander back to the pavilion for 31.
With Brathwaite plodding along in his usual stoic manner at the other end, new batsman Shimron Hetmyer sought to seize the initiative from the bowlers. His intentions were clear when he hoisted Shah for the only six of the innings so far.
But the bowler exacted swift revenge as an original “not out” verdict by presiding umpire Bruce Oxenford for an appeal for a leg-side catch by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed was overturned on review when television replays revealed a faint touch of the ball onto the batsman’s glove.
There was no doubt though to Ahmed’s second dismissal of the morning as Brathwaite, who had grafted his way to 29 off 123 deliveries through three-and-a-half hours, pushed forward to Shah in the last over before the interval and edged a catch high to the wicketkeeper’s right.