KINGSTON: The unbeatable half-century of Babar Azam kept his team’s hopes alive to achieve a competitive target for the West Indies during the closing entries of the race with Pakistan reaching 160 for 5 in their second innings at the end of the 3rd day at Sabina Park rainfall on Saturday.
After 36 runs at the first intake, the tourists will start day 4 in front of 124. The foreigners will be Azam at 54 and Faheem Ashraf at 12, with the duo 39 for the sixth wicket so far.
Captain Pakistan almost accurately matched his Kraigg Brathwaite counterpart’s caution and determination from a day ago
In over four hours, in his face of 139 balls and 7 fours, he confined his usually smooth strokeplay to the barest minimum.
He came to the middle of the day after Mohammad Rizwan’s death at 121 and at five heavy mid-afternoon showers interrupted him at the beginning of a long final session.
Azam and Rizwan put 56 wickets on the fifth, but Pakistan was in danger of capitulating before the end of the game when the wicketkeepers-batsman perished to Jason Holder for 30.
While the dread was avoided, it was clearly possible for the West Indies to make early inroads against a dubious batting group after lunch when they were reduced to 65 for four.
Ashraf was also watchful but West India only blames him for his continuing existence, as a third glance from the medium space of Kyle Mayers Jermaine Blackwood bore a direct chance shortly after the left-hander got to the plunge.
‘Patient as possible’ –
Yet just as grim was the scenario on its Independence Day in the early afternoon, Shaheen Shah Afridi took the last two West Indian first innings wickets and took 253 away from home. Sheen Shaheen Shah Afridi was a great start.
Kemar Roach, who left the visitors in each of his two periods in more than a little pain with his wicket before lunch, instantly affected that contentment.
Once Abid Ali and former captain Azhar Ali had an increasingly promising 55-run stand, Roach delivered an acute cut-off from Azhar, which cut down the right-leg-stump man’s while shuffling too much over the plume.
The Barbadian trapped Imran Butt without scoring, again demonstrating the worth of his expertise and accuracy.
While Azhar’s dismissal reaction indicated that the ball had also been lower than he anticipated, it was only a reward for Roach’s perseverance, who had previously seen Jason Holder’s normal safe hands drop the regulatory capture in a second glance from the same batman.
When Jayden Seales handed his First Entrance Wicket to Jayden via Ali’s edged cut-up right of the high Allrounder at the second glance, Holder expired for this startling failure.
Three balls later, there was even more reverie in the West Indies camp when first inning leading scorer Fawad Alam edged the wicket-keeper Joshua da Silva another Seales delivery before he scored.
Pakistan lost three buckets on both sides of the lunch interval for nine runs and was in urgent need of stability, which Babar supplied alongside Rizwan and subsequently Ashraf.
“On this surface, I absolutely loved bowling. We only have to stay as patient as possible and perform the same thing that we did in the innings when we took these wickets, “Seales said that.
“A goal should give us a strong opportunity anywhere in the 170-200 region.”
If Pakistan and the rest of the lower order take the general lead closer to the 200 run mark on the surface and continue to evaluate the technique and resilience of all the batters, they shall undoubtedly consider that they are better than they have a chance of triumph.