KINGSTON: Mohammad Abbas had a dream debut as Pakistan reduced the West Indies to 244 for seven on the opening day of the first Test of the three-match series at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Friday.
Sharing the new ball with Mohammad Amir after Misbah-ul-Haq, chose to bowl first on winning the toss, Abbas struck with his second delivery in Test cricket, having Kraigg Brathwaite caught at second slip by Younis Khan without scoring.
— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) April 21, 2017
The wicket gave an important breakthrough to the tourists as the opener had made history in their last Test match against Pakistan with unbeaten scores of 142 and 60 that earned the Caribbean side a five-wicket win in Sharjah last November at the end of an otherwise miserable tour of the United Arab Emirates.
With the West Indies fielding two debutantes in the middle-order in the pair of Guyanese left-handers Shimron Hetmyer and Vishaul Singh, Pakistan pressed the advantage even further with Amir claiming his first wickets for three Test matches.
Maintaining a nagging accuracy, the left-arm fast bowler breached the defences of both Hetmyer and Shai Hope, scattering the stumps with deliveries that jagged in sharply off a pitch offering early assistance to the pacers in heavily overcast conditions.
Pakistan’s third seamer in their bowling armoury, Wahab Riaz, then removed Singh via a good diving catch by Azhar Ali at backward square-leg to have the home side tottering at 53 for four.
West Indies’ middle and lower order came to their rescue as they recovered from 71 for 5 to end the opening day on 244 for seven.
Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich added 118 for the sixth wicket after Mohammad Amir had made three breakthroughs either side of lunch as Pakistan threatened to take a firm hold on the match.
The umpires called of the play on first day nine overs earlier due to bad light after just one over with the new ball.
West Indies opted to omit Jermaine Blackwood from their final eleven to accommodate the debutantes in the batting line-up, meaning there was no Jamaican in the home side for a Test match at Sabina Park for the first time since 1997 when, incidentally, the opponents were also Pakistan.
Notwithstanding his impressive entry to senior international cricket during the limited-over leg of the tour, the visitors resisted the temptation to include uncapped Shadab Khan in their team as a second spinner in support of Yasir Shah, choosing instead to introduce 27-year-old Abbas to Test cricket.
This is the 50th Test between the two nations and also the 50th Test match to be played at Sabina Park since the very first at the venue in 1930.
Pakistan XI: Azhar, Shehzad, Babar, Younis, Misbah (capt), Shafiq, Sarfraz (wk), Amir, Yasir, Wahab, Abbas.
West Indies XI: Brathwaite, Powell, Hetmyer, Hope, Singh, Dowrich (wk), Chase, Holder (capt), Bishoo, Joseph, Gabriel.