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Departing Younis, Misbah fall as Pakistan wobble

ROSEAU: Devendra Bishoo dismissed Pakistan stalwarts Younis Khan and captain Misbah ul Haq in their farewell international innings to leave the tourists struggling at 72 for five in their second innings at tea on the fourth day of the third and final Test against the West Indies in Dominica on Saturday.

Following the tedium of the first three days, which saw a total of 15 wickets falling, ten have been lost in just two sessions on this penultimate day, heightening the prospect of a tense last-day finish with both sides seeking a series victory.

Mohammad Abbas claimed his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket to trigger a West Indies first innings collapse to 247 all out in the morning session after they had resumed in the relatively comfortable position of 218 for five.

However in attempting to build on that considerable lead of 129 the visitors got into early trouble. Opener Azhar Ali fell to Shannon Gabriel while off-spinner Roston Chase removed Babar Azam for his third duck in four innings in half-an-hour’s batting before lunch.

Then after Shan Masood and Younis added 49 for the third wicket in the afternoon, Masood completed a disappointing return Test at the top of the order when he was trapped lbw by Gabriel for 21.

His demise ushered in Misbah for his last innings but there was to be no fairytale as he attempted to hoist Bishoo out of the ground in the leg-spinner’s first over and succeeded only in getting a spiralling top-edge for wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich to take the catch and send the skipper back to the pavilion for two to a guard of honour of raised bats from his appreciative teammates.

Younis looked set to continue the duel into the final session of the day but he also succumbed to Bishoo just before the break for 35, his errant sweep being well caught by Kieran Powell diving at backward square-leg.

He was also accorded a guard of honour but even as the former captain left the playing area, Pakistan would have been concerned about the prospect of squandering what looked like a dominant position in the wake of Abbas’ effort with the ball.

Increasingly impressive in his first Test series, the fast-medium bowler took the last four wickets of the West Indies innings for three runs in a four-over spell after an early breakthrough from fellow pacer Mohammad Amir to finish with the excellent figures of five for 46 off 25 disciplined overs.

Amir raised the visitors’ hopes of earning a potentially decisive first innings lead when he removed Dowrich to just the fourth ball of the day as his lazy stab outside the off-stump dragged the ball back onto the stumps without any addition to the overnight score.

Forced to retire hurt on 60 the previous evening due to a blow on his right elbow, Chase resumed his innings in partnership with Jason Holder and the pair seemed to be progressing without too much difficulty until Abbas replaced Amir from the pavilion end.

Chase was bowled off his pads for 69 by a full-length delivery and Bishoo then edged his first ball low to second slip where the ever-reliable Younis came up with his tenth catch of the series. That effort put him into the record books for the most catches ever by a Pakistani fielder in a Test series.

Alzarri Joseph survived the attempt at a hat-trick but Abbas was not to be denied his first five-for, also bowling Joseph off his pads and then having last man Gabriel taken at short-leg to leave Holder unbeaten on 30.

 

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