Fri, May 05, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Advantage Pakistan as Shah snares six wickets

AFP, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados

Pakistan’s Yasir Shah, left, bowls against the West Indies on the fourth day of the second Test at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Yasir Shah’s stranglehold of the West Indies continued on Wednesday on the fourth day of the second Test at the Kensington Oval in Barbados as the leg-spinner snared 6-90 to reopen the prospect of a first-ever Test match victory at the venue for Pakistan going into the final day.

Despite a patient, disciplined Test best of 90 from Shai Hope and a succession of half-century partnerships that raised expectations of the hosts batting their way to safety, West Indies slipped from the relative comfort of 235-4 to be 264-9 at stumps.

They went into the final day ahead by 183 runs with their last pair at the crease.

On a deteriorating pitch, Pakistan’s final target might still be a challenging one as they seek the historic win which would also give them a first-ever Test series triumph in the Caribbean.

Man of the match in the seven-wicket win in the first Test in Jamaica, Shah was again the key performer when it mattered most for Pakistan.

Hope appeared to have blunted the threat successfully through more than five hours of watchful batting and he was within sight of a maiden Test century when he drove Shah to cover where Azhar Ali held the catch that triggered the late collapse.

Having broken an 80-run fifth-wicket partnership with Vishaul Singh, Pakistan were celebrating again off the very next delivery when Singh was on his way back to the pavilion, bowled off his inside-edge by Mohammad Abbas for 32.

Three wickets fell for one run when Younis Khan held his fifth catch of the match, a brilliant reflex effort at slip to remove West Indies captain Jason Holder off Shah.

In his farewell series like captain Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis is now the only fielder to have taken 50 catches after the age of 35 in Test cricket.

“It’s about staying fit, and staying sharp and expectant in the field,” the 39-year-old said. “This pitch is pretty much like what we play on at home and in the UAE [United Arab Emirates], so if we play properly and concentrate we should be able to get whatever the target is on the last day.”

In rampant mood, Shah then disposed of Shane Dowrich and Alzarri Joseph in quick succession just before the close to leave Devendra Bishoo and last man Shannon Gabriel to carry the fight into the last day for the hosts.

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