Riding on Roston Chase’s impressive second Test century West Indies posted 286 for 6 at the end of Day One in the second Test against Pakistan at Barbados. At one point the hosts were struggling at 154 for 6, but an unbeaten stand of 132 runs between Chase and West Indies skipper Jason Holder (58*) assured the hosts posting a challenging total at the end of days play. Mohammad Aamer (2 for 52), Mohammad Abbas (2 for 47), Yasir Shah (1 for 83) and Shadab Khan (1 for 90) shared the six wickets in the first two sessions, but some great batting from Chase and Holder saw the last session of the day going wicketless and scoring 120 runs. Full Cricket Scorecard: Pakistan vs West Indies 2nd Test at Barbados
So let’s have look at some of the highlights of the day’s play that grabbed the attention:
West Indies top-order falters; yet again: The hosts had seen their entire top-order batting falter in the series opener. They looked clueless against the fiery spells from Aamer and Abbas. But still the Caribbean side persisted with the same starting XI at Barbados and the move backfired soon. Kraigg Brathwaite was the first to depart and this triggered the West Indies batting collapse as Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Vishaul Singh all departed quickly one after the other leaving the side crumbling at 37 for 3.
The not so costly drop: Mohammad Aamer since his comeback has seen six catches dropped off his bowling. But in the series opener, out of seven wickets, he cleaned up the batsmen four times while Younis Khan took two catches and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed took one. It felt like Pakistan had finally got learnt the art of catching off Aamer’s bowling. But in the second Test, Ahmed Shehzad proved it wrong. Kraigg Brathwaite was having a hard time dealing against the swingers from Aamer. Seeing his awkwardness, Misbah got in short cover hoping to get the first breakthrough. The plan worked very well as Aamer bowled an away swinging delivery which Brathwaite tried fending in a very awkward position but all he managed was a leading edge which flew straight to Shehzad at short cover.
But, Shehzad spilt the easiest of the catch. Aamer with the disappointed looks went back to how bowling mark and two deliveries later Brathwaite edged it again – but this time to Sarfraz who made no mistake in grabbing hold of the ball.
The nervy wait for maiden wicket: Shadab Khan had blown away the entire West Indies batting in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) and One-Day Internationals (ODI). Backing on the same run, he was selected in the Test series but did not play the first Test. But at Barbados, he was selected instead of Wahab Riaz.
Misbah got in the attack in the 19th over. But the change in format saw the change in batsmen’s approach towards him. Shadab didn’t look effective and game away runs as well releasing the pressure. He had to wait for his maiden Test wicket for 59 deliveries. It was the last delivery of 10th over that saw Dowrich edging a leg break to Younis at first slip.
Chase and Holder – holding things together: West Indies were 166 for 6 at the start of the third session. All hopes were not lost as Chase and Holder were still at the crease at 70 and 0 respectively. But Pakistan bowling looked lethal. They had dominated the previous two sessions dismissing six West Indies batsmen. If any of these two would lose their wicket early in the last session, West Indies tail was wide open to bundling out.
But this tow presented great batting display. Despite being put on the backfoot, they resumed with optimism. They defied swing bowling from Aamer and Abbas. They nullified Yasir and Shadab’s guile. Once they eased in the game, runs came easy. The played some glorious shots down the ground as well as over the top. This in return frustrated Team Misbah and soon followed up some sloppy fielding. The pressure was built slowly and steadily and as the day ended, Chase walked back making “X” sign with his hands to celebrate his century in front of his home crowd.