PAK v WI, 1st Test Day 3 Review: Bravo and Samuels lead gritty fightback

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West Indies
West Indies batsmen Marlon Samuels (L) and Darren Bravo run between the wickets. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

While Azhar Ali stamped his authority on the encounter, Day 3  of the PAK v WI encounter saw the West Indies stage a fightback in the form of Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels. The duo went ahead and spared the Windies of their blushes when they added an important partnership in excess of 100 runs. With the duo playing well within their game, the follow-on may well be avoided should a collapse not occur.

The day began with the Windies in dire straits following the loss of the first wicket of Leon Johnson. The first session of the day’s play shortly after the lunch break saw Kraigg Brathwaite fall early on. It was either coincidence or good riddance from skipper Misbah-ul-Haq to bring on the 30-year old uncanny leg-spinner, Yasir Shah. Needless to say, Yasir breached the defenses of Kraigg Brathwaite rather easily.

However, the wicket seemed to unnerve the Windies by a minuscule margin. Enter Marlon Samuels. Just the last month, the WICB and Samuels himself were making a few statements regarding the latter’s retirement. At the age of 35, it seemed quite clear that the end was nearing for Samuels. However, that did not stop him from the magnificent innings he played.

He joined Darren Bravo as the duo waged a lonesome crusade against the impressive Pakistan bowlers. They battled through two and a half hot and humid sessions as they added 113 runs for the third wicket partnership, something that brought the Windies closer to avoiding the follow-on many expected them to follow.

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It took yet another masterclass of a call from Misbah to help the Pakistanis achieve a breakthrough. Sohail Khan, who had toiled for the most part of the post-lunch session was handed the pink cherry once more. The message was clear. Trap Samuels on the front foot. And that was precisely what happened, of course, with a little help from the swinging prowess from Sohail Khan himself.

Mohammad Nawaz, yet another piece of the mastermind of Misbah saw Darren Bravo denied a well-deserved Test match century. Late into the night, Bravo’s resistance was broken as Mohammad Nawaz claimed his first Test match wicket. Wahab Riaz made a divine intervention late in the day to overhaul Jermaine Blackwood and Roston Chase thereby exposing the tale of the West Indies batting unit. The day concluded with the Windies on 315/6, 64 runs adrift from avoiding the follow-on.

Brief Scores

Pakistan, 1st innings: 579/3

West Indies, 1st innings: 315/6 (DM Bravo 87; Wahab 2/53)

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