West Indies pulled off a stunning win against Pakistan at Sharjah in 3rd test by 5 wickets. This is West Indies’ first test win since May 2015 when they beat England at Barbados. This is also Jason Holder’s first win as a test captain.
Having lost every match on tour before 3rd test, it had been a very disappointing tour for WI. Losing the toss and put into bowl, there was some change in fortune for men from Caribbean. Gabriel struck twice to remove the triple centurion at Dubai Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq.
Pakistan recovered from early setbacks after fifties from Sami Aslam, Younis, Misbah and Sarfaraz. Then a flurry of wickets towards the end of day 1 meant, It was even-stevens after Day 1. Pakistan were all out for a below par 281. The second innings saw Brathwaite at his best.
When his side was in a spot of bother at 68/4 Brathwaite showed immense grit and determination to score a ton and carried his bat ending on 142. He got good support from Chase(50), Dowrich (47) and it was Bishoo who gave stubborn resistance to Pakistanis with an 85-ball 27. West Indies managed to gain a handy lead of 56 runs. The second innings was the turning point.
Pakistan lost 4 early wickets with hardly anything on the board. The pillars of Pakistani middle order Younis, Shafiq and Misbah were out very cheaply. Azhar Ali played well for his 91. Sarfaraz gave a bit of resistance with his 42. But tail failed to wag and Pakistan were all out for 208. West Indies in their history have never lost a match chasing less than 200.
They were under the pump early on at 67/5 when Wahab was on fire but Brathwaite and Dowrich provided stability and made sure West Indies crossed the line with no further hiccups. Kraig Brathwaite became the first opener in test cricket to remain not out in both innings. Just a few hours before their win a news came from West Indies cricket board that couple of senior players Samuels and DM Bravo have refused to sign the central contracts.
Hence there availability for test cricket in coming months is uncertain. West Indies play their next test series on April against Pakistan at home. It will be interesting to see whether senior players will be part of that series or not and if they are not playing then youngsters have their tasks cut out.