Jermaine Blackwood’s wicket at the stroke of lunch meant Pakistan are five wickets away from levelling the series
Lunch West Indies 150 and 113 for 5 (Brathwaite 39*, Mayers 3*) need another 216 runs to beat Pakistan 302 for 9 dec & 176 for 6 dec (Butt 37, Babar 33, Joseph 2-24)
Pakistan were slightly jittery overnight in the face of West Indian resistance, and for a brief spell this morning, as Joseph and Brathwaite kept the bowlers at bay. Each struck a boundary to get the ball rolling, and with the ball losing its shine, West Indies appeared to be making progress. But once Afridi banged one in that Joseph threw his bat at, the innings began to fall apart. Mohammad Rizwan took a comfortable skier and if West Indies had the baton of control, Pakistan were beginning to wrest it away from them.
Hasan hadn’t enjoyed as spectacular a series as he’s become used to since his comeback, but it took just one ball for him to have an impact today. Bonner played down the wrong line and was struck dead in front; Hasan didn’t even bother to appeal as he set off to celebrate. The umpire made Pakistan review, but there was no redemption for Bonner.
Faheem Ashraf at the other end should have seen off Brathwaite, but while one Pakistan opener simply cannot drop a catch in the slips, Brathwaite’s outside edge looped to the other one. Abid Ali put down a dolly, perhaps illustrating why Imran Butt had dived so spectacularly in front of him in the first Test. To rub the point home further, when Chase offered up a chance the following over, Butt dived adroitly to his right, and Pakistan had another wicket.
Blackwood and Brathwaite have been West Indies’ brightest batting sparks this tour, and for more than an hour, they kept Pakistan waiting for another breakthrough. It came from an unlikely source – their left-arm spinner Nauman – who flighted the ball to draw the batter forward and induce an outside edge to the keeper. The wicket possibly extinguished West Indies’ realistic hopes of holding Pakistan off.
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000