Pakistan spoil big total chance against West Indies
SHARJAH: It was a case of poor shot selection and not building on a good start as Pakistani batsmen spurned a good chance of posting another big total against West Indies on a batting-friendly Sharjah stadium pitch.
Pakistan had won a very good toss, third by Misbah-ul-Haq in succession which interestingly left his counterpart Jason Holder in a fix as to how the coin falls in his opponents’ favour as he took a stroll after the match referee Jeff Crow declared Misbah as winner.
But four Pakistani batsmen reached half centuries without going on to make a big hundred. By close West Indies had grabbed eight wickets with the total at 255 and for the first time in the series will dismiss Pakistan for under 300 in the first innings.
Opener Sami Aslam hit his fifth half century with 74, Sarfraz Ahmed his ninth during his 51, Misbah-ul-Haq 53 for his 36th and Younis Khan 51 for his 31st but all of them played reckless shots to bring their demise.
Misbah should have played with responsibility as it is his 49th Test as captain, improving on Imran Khan’s 48 Test as a skipper, and should have gone on toe make this occasion memorable.
Aslam had once again batted with patience but threw his wicket by foolishly attempting a reverse sweep against leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, Misbah too doing the same and was caught off the glove, again attempting a reverse sweep.
Younis had added 106 for the third wicket with Aslam after Pakistan lost Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq as early as in the first over. But Younis himself spoiled a chance of scoring a big hundred by playing a rash shot and was caught at mid-wicket.
Sarfraz Ahmed tried valiantly to stop the wicket slide but played on to a Shannon Gabriel delivery to give the initiative to West Indies.
Holder had under bowl leg spinner Bishoo but when he did bowl him after tea the leg spinner responded with three wuick wickets to finish the day on 4-74 while Gabriel had 3-58.