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PAK v WI 3rd Test, Day 3 Review: West Indies have their nose ahead with quick wickets

Azhar Ali of Pakistan
Azhar Ali of Pakistan. (Photo by Chris Whiteoak/Getty Images)

Overnight batsmen, Kraigg Brathwaite and Jason Holder started off the proceedings for West Indies today. While the opener was unbeaten on 95, the skipper was new at the crease with 6 runs in his account. The nervous nineties were not to happen for Brathwaite as added four runs to his score on the very first ball bowled by Mohammad Amir. Before the end of the over, he got to his century but managed to keep his composure to carry on.

Holder looked stable as well and played a couple of good strokes but he decided to shoulder arm an Amir delivery that the bowler delivered from an angle and wrong judgment saw his stumps being disturbed from their original position. Brathwaite who was now batting with the tail looked determined to make it count. He was calm and composed, continued to maintain his patient.

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He picked the gaps beautifully all around the ground. He was happy to bank on the singles and doubles for the chunk of the runs he scored. Brathwaite got as many runs as he could with the least amount of risk involved. He also displayed praiseworthy discipline and willingness to get his team a first innings lead and did that with success.

After the fall of Devendra Bishoo who contributed 27 runs but more importantly stood there for 85 deliveries, Wahab Riaz ran through the tail and West Indies were bowled out with 337 on the board. They managed a crucial lead of 51 runs and while he lost all his partners Brathwaite was unconquered in the knock and carried his bat in the inning unbeaten on 142. He became only the seventh West Indian batsman to do so. He faced 318 deliveries and hit 11 boundaries during his stay.

Also read- Pakistan v West Indies, 3rd Test Day 3: 5 Talking Points

Wahab was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan as he accounted only the second 5-wicket haul of his Test career. Mohammad Amir scalped 3 wickets while leg-spinner Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar shared a wicket a piece.

Pakistani openers Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali had a task at hand when they walked out to open the inning just ahead of the Tea session. They were not just expected to ensure safety but also had to clear off the deficit as early as possible. They started off well with Azhar playing some good shots but just when things started to settle Windies skipper Jason Holder inflicted the first damage as he had Sami Aslam caught by Alzari Joseph for 17 and with that the opening stand of 37 runs was broken.

Holder got into his rhythm really well and it wasn’t easy for the incoming batsmen to tackle him. He bettered things for his team and struck twice in quick succession to see the back of Pakistan’s reliable No. 3 and 4 Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan for dual ducks. All-rounder Roston Chase who has been a pleasant find for the team also got into the act and dismissed skipper Misbah-ul-Haq for just 4 runs.

While all this happened at one end, Azhar stood his ground and kept getting the runs. He remained unbeaten at the end of the day and also ensured his team gained a slender lead of 31 runs before the umpires decided to call it a day. At stumps Pakistan have 87 runs on the board having lost 4 wickets. Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed had formed an assuring partnership with the opener as the duo added 39 runs.

Also check out- Twitter Reactions: Kraigg Brathwaite carries his bat as West Indies take first innings lead

Given the situation of the game, West Indies will hope they have an edge here. Skipper Holder’s form is a great sign for them while Chase, Shannon Gabriel and Joseph will also have to strike early tomorrow to ensure no big partnership runs their advantage and only then will they have a chance at salvaging some pride on the tour.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan 1st innings: 281

West Indies 1st innings: 337 (K Brathwaite 142*; W Riaz 5/88)

Pakistan 2nd innings:  (A Ali 45*; J Holder 3/10)

Pakistan lead by 31 runs

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