A disciplined bowling effort from the bowlers handed Pakistan their first test series win in West Indies after they defeated the hosts by 101 runs in the 3rd test to give a perfect send off to retiring legends Younis Khan and Misbah-ul Haq.
By winning the second test,West Indies ensured that the final match was a ‘Winner takes it all’ and ultimately it was the visitors who came out on top. However, most importantly the match witnessed Pakistan legends Younis and Misbah take the field for one last time in their career, and the duo retired with a first-ever series win in the West Indies.
Here are 5 talking points from Pakistan’s landmark win-
Day 1- Azhar Ali and Babar Azam’s 127-run partnership
After Jason Holder won the toss and invited the visitors to bat, Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph started the proceedings but failed to trouble the Pakistan openers much. Under cloudy skies, their inconsistent length yielded no fruits as Holder turned to spin as early in the 8th over of the innings. Roston Chase purchased enough turn to earn a nick from Shan Masood and the latter became the first casualty of Pakistan innings.
However, that was the only success West Indies had for long as No.3 Azam and Ali kept the host bowlers at bay, and ensured Pakistan reached tea without losing any more wickets. Thanks to persistent rain, the day was robbed of many overs, but that did not affect the batsmen’s concentration. Both conjured their fifties, but Azam (55) fell to Joseph shortly thereafter. Nevertheless, Ali (85*) and Younis Khan (11*) took Pakistan to 169/2 at stumps on Day 1.
Day 2- Ali completes century as Pakistan score 376 in 1st innings
The second day began on a positive note for the hosts as they accounted for Younis very early. The departure of the veteran brought in another guy playing in last test in form of skipper Misbah-ul Haq. Pakistan reached lunch without any further jitters, but lost Ali seven overs after the break. The opener scored a brilliant 127 before becoming Chase’s second victim.
Useful contributions from Misbah (59) and Sarfraz Ahmed (51) made sure West Indies fail to seize the momentum after Ali’s wicket. The visitors finished at 376 in 146.3 overs with the last two wickets adding vital 54 runs. While Holder scalped three wickets, Chase was the highest wicket taker with four scalps. In reply, West Indies reach stumps on Day 2 unscathed at 14/0 in 11 overs.
Day 3- Chase leads West Indies reply with gritty half-century
Day 3 saw most of the Caribbean batsmen getting starts but failing to capitalize on that. The top three were accounted by leg spinner Yasir Shah as West Indies were precariously placed at 97/3 at lunch. A 55-run stand for the 4th wicket meant Pakistan were devoid of any more inroads for long, but part-timer Azhar Ali dismissed Shai Hope (29) on the last ball before tea. New man Vishaul Singh consumed 44 balls for only eight runs, but West Indies suffered a big setback when Chase (60*) retired hurt after being hit by Amir on the right arm. The slow-moving day ended with the hosts’ scoreboard reading 218/5, with Holder and Dorwich at the crease.
Day 4- Pakistan bowlers come to rescue as they set hosts a tricky total
The West Indian fightback did not continue on the fourth day as they caved in meekly to a disciplined Pakistan bowling attack. After Amir got the better of Dorwich on the third ball of the day, Mohammad Abbas took over the mantle and polished off the tail with much ease. Holder’s 30 and Chase’s 69 meant West Indies folded up for 247, losing last four wickets for 8 runs.
Emotions seemed to get the better of Pakistan batsmen in their second innings as stalwarts Younis and Misbah walked in to bat for the last time in their career. Wickets fell at regular intervals in their second innings meant Younis (35) and Misbah (2) departed in quick succession and failed to produce anything special in their final innings.
Pakistan were in deep trouble when they were reduced to 90/7, but unlike West Indies they did not give up. Amir (27), Shah (38*) and Hasan Ali (15*) joined hands to give the bowlers a genuine chance of winning the match as Pakistan declared at 174/8, setting West Indies a target of 304 runs. In six overs of play left on Day 4, the visitors drew the first blood, dismissing Powell and ensuring West Indies’ dismal day ended at 7/1.
Day 5- Chase hits a century but Yasir Shah caps off a memorable farewell for #MisYou
The two legends in the middle were the cynosure of all eyes, but Pakistan did not deviate from what they had to do. A victory would have been the perfect send off and the Men in Green did exactly that. None of the batsmen looked to apply themselves on a pitch where run-scoring was not being easy. The result was the hosts lost six wickets before even reaching the three figure mark. A 58-run stand between Chase and Holder briefly threatened to save the match, but once Holder was trapped LBW by Hasan Ali, it was a matter of time before Pakistan clinched the tie.
Chase brought up his 3rd test century, but received no support from the other end. The all-rounder who was adjudged the Player of the Match later remained not out on 101 as West Indies were bowled out for 202. Finishing with a 5-wicket haul, Man of the Series Yasir Shah scalped the final wicket, sending the entire team in teary-eyed celebrations.