West Indies v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Day 4 Review: West Indies lose early wicket in 304 chase

West Indies v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Day 4 Review: West Indies lose early wicket in 304 chase

An intriguing final day of Test cricket awaits everyone in Roseau.

Misbah Ul Haq
Misbah Ul Haq. (Photo credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Meteorology is a hard science, and the ones who said that all five days of this third and final Test would be hampered by rain were wrong. The Pakistan players raced out of the huddle on lush green grass under a dominantly blue sky with sparse puffy clouds. As the weather seemed to get better with every day, so did the Test.

There was action straight away as West Indies lost their sixth wicket in the very first over of the day. Mohammad Amir had no mercy towards Shane Dowrich’s woodwork as he shattered his set of stumps with a peach. He was replaced by Roston Chase, to face a fiery Amir, the one who had struck him on his elbow.

Along with skipper Jason Holder, Chase was able to brave 9 probing overs by the Pakistan bowlers. Chase though was only able to add 9 to his overnight score of 60 before he was undone by a yorker from Mohammad Abbas. For Roston Chase’s standards, it was an unexpected shot as he was late to bring down his bat. His wicket triggered a hasty collapse. Abbas followed up Chase’s wicket by removing Bishoo for a golden duck. Younis Khan, as he’s done on countless occasions, took a low catch at second slip. The speedster, playing in his first Test series, quickly got to his maiden 5-for by removing first Alzarri Joseph and then Shannon Gabriel. Both left the crease without troubling the scorers, leaving the Windies captain stranded at the other end on 30.

In little over an hour, Pakistan grabbed a sizeable first innings lead of 129, dismissing the hosts for 247. Mohammad Abbas deservedly led the Pakistan players off the pitch and why not. The youngster was at the forefront of Pakistan’s pacers on a pitch that didn’t offer much for them. Following a grueling day of slow and patient batting, the West Indies suddenly found themselves on the back foot in Roseau.

Just as Pakistan thought that the scales had tipped in their favor, West Indies pulled the rug from under their feet. There were no Azhar Ali heroics this time as he was seized at the point. Gabriel’s wasn’t the best of deliveries, but it resulted in a prized wicket. Babar Azam soon followed his fellow opener back to the hut. West Indies had jumped right back into the Test as the umpires decided it was a good time to fill their stomachs with lunch. A result looked very much on the cards.

All of a sudden, the West Indies had a vice-like grip over the Test match. The next window of play witnessed some unconvincing cricket from Pakistan. Some deliveries went through the gate, and some others didn’t carry to the fielder. Pakistan were living dangerously when Shan Masood’s wicket got them into further trouble. Younis Khan was joined by his skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, as Pakistan, and perhaps every cricketing nation, watched two champion batsmen together for one last time. Fans hoped that this prolific duo with more than 15,000 Test runs between them, would get Pakistan back on track.

Younis, Misbah fail to make it big in the final innings

But alas, neither could provide the swan-song they’d hoped for. Misbah first perished to a slog-sweep for 2. As for Younis, it was his iconic sweep, a shot that earned him myriad runs, which brought an end to his career. Both stalwarts of Pakistan cricket left the field one last time, acknowledged by a guard of honor with raised bats from Pakistan’s players and reverent applause from the crowd. The West Indies players all ran to congratulate two heroes who’d no longer don the all whites.

Pakistan’s middle order consisting of Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq didn’t add too many runs to their total. Some resistance from Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah took the visitors to 174, when Misbah decided to call his boys back. The West Indies openers spurted off the field – their target, 304 runs.

With a handful of overs left in the day’s play, Pakistan desperately looked for a couple of wickets before Stumps. They did get Kieran Powell, courtesy of a brilliant reflex catch from Shan Masood. Umpires whipped the bails off to signal that would be all for the day. West Indies finished on 7/1, needing another 297 runs to achieve victory.

A day of engrossing cricket witnessed 14 wickets fall, two greats of the game play their final innings, and the tides turning on several occasions. Pakistan perhaps left the field fancying a historic series victory, while a draw was on West Indies’ mind. An intriguing final day of Test cricket awaits everyone in Roseau.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan 376/10 in 146.3 overs (Azhar Ali 127, Misbah 59, Chase 4/103, Holder 3/71)

West Indies 247/10 in 115 overs (Chase 69, Powell 31, Abbas 5/46, Yasir 3/126)

Pakistan 174/8 decl. in 57 overs (Yasir 38*, Younis 35, Alzarri 3/53, Gabriel 2/24)

West Indies 7/1 (Yasir 1/2)

Check full scorecard here.