Striking back: West Indies earn plaudits for second innings fightback

Visitors had seemed down and out after conceding 222-run lead to Pakistan

Our Correspondent October 18, 2016
Bravo was the star of the show for West Indies in the fourth innings, defying the Pakistan bowling attack almost single-handedly. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Darren Bravo was the star of the show for West Indies in their fourth innings with a superb century under Dubai Cricket Stadium lights but there were others who played a part in ensuring the match ended up being the nail-biter it was.

West Indies conceded a 222-run deficit in the first innings and Pakistan were overwhelming favourites to canter to victory at that time. Skipper Misbahul Haq decided against making West Indies follow on but Pakistan’s batsmen were a far cry from the ones who had amassed 579-3 in the first innings as Devendra Bishoo grabbed himself career-best figures of 8-49 to dismiss Pakistan for just 123 and bring the visitors back into the game.

Day-night Test: Shah, Bishoo set up exciting finish

“The main credit for the West Indies fightback goes to Bishoo,” former Test cricketer Abdul Qadir told The Express Tribune.

“This is what a leg-spinner can do to the opposition’s batting line-up,” said Qadir, himself a legendary leg-spinner. “He brought back the West Indies in the game after they conceded a huge total. Then, Bravo with his century also played a crucial role. Batting under such pressure in the fourth innings is never easy and Bravo deserves all the plaudits he gets.”

Bravo’s century came at the back of his first-innings 87, making it the first time that he scored more than 50 in both innings of the same match.

West Indies reeling: Hosts in control as Yasir takes five

Qadir also congratulated Yasir Shah for reaching the 100-wicket milestone in just his 17th Test, which made him the fastest Asian bowler to that landmark.

“I wish Yasir more success in the future and I am happy for his achievement. But I think he needs to work on his flaws — he should not have been struggling that badly in the fourth innings of a match,” said Qadir. “His googly and flipper were not as effective and he can struggle in the series against Australia considering the conditions there.”

However, Yasir did claim the all-important wicket of Bravo, dismissing him for 116 with a caught and bowled.

While the day-night Test in Dubai failed to draw the crowd as it was hoped it would, Qadir backed the experiment, saying more time should be given to the innovation which is aimed at rescuing Test cricket.

“I still think it’s a good initiative and with time, it can yield the desired results,” he said.

Difficult to bowl with pink ball under lights: Wahab

Pakistan fast-bowler Wahab Riaz said bowling with the pink ball was a big challenge. “It’s a completely different experience to bowl with the pink ball,” said Wahab in an interview.

“The bowlers are finding it difficult to bowl with the pink ball. It is especially a huge challenge for fast-bowlers under lights because of the dew factor. The pacers are unable to swing the ball once it gets wet and becomes soft.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2016.

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