About the Match
Pakistan registered a thrilling win against West Indies in the first test of the series to take a 1-0 lead; the two teams will face each other in the 2nd Test starting on 21st October at Abu Dhabi. The visitors made Pakistan toil hard for the victory as they tried to bat out the day to reach the 346-run target but fell short by 56 runs; the hosts pushed themselves hard to convert their good performance with bat and ball into a win in the last hour of the match, overcoming the last-ditch effort of the Windies batsmen. Both teams have strong match-winners who can stun the opponents here; it needs to be seen which side has the perseverance to continue fighting till the last ball and come out victorious.
The first innings saw Azhar Ali posting a brilliant triple century, patiently building the foundation with an unbeaten 302 from 469 deliveries; he was well-supported by opener Sami Aslam, who scored 90, Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam, who posted 60+ runs each to steer the scoreboard to 579 declared. The batting unit has depth and experience with players like Misbah-ul-Haq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq looking good to contribute with the big runs.
However, the batting line-up failed to repeat the performance in the 2nd innings, getting all-out for 123 runs; spinner Yasir Shah took 7 wickets in total and Mohammad Nawaz took 4 wickets to stifle the opponents while speedsters Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan and Mohammad Amir provided regular breakthroughs to help the team win the match by 56 runs with a late effort.
They will try to put up a better performance taking cognizance of the Windies’ determination to keep fighting till the end; their bowling mix can try to outwit the Windies in a clinical manner.
Darren Bravo fought a lone battle as he heroically posted 116 runs in the 2nd innings, making the Pakistani bowlers work hard for a win; closing in on a target of 346 runs, Jason Holder tried to revive the innings but his 40 off 127 wasn’t enough. In the first innings too, it was Bravo and Samuels who kept the scoreboard ticking but others couldn’t build partnerships and they were all-out for 357.
Devendra Bishoo put up an extraordinary effort with his spin bowling as he claimed 8-49 in less than 14 overs; his tactics led to a demolition of the Pakistani batting line-up in the 2nd innings and the visitors saw a ray of hope to win the match. In the first innings too, Bishoo took 2 wickets and others like Holder, Chase and Cummins tried to contain the run-flow of the hosts.
Johnson, Blackwood, Samuels, Dowrich and Bravo are in good form with the bat and can try to stabilise the innings from the middle; all-rounders like Holder and Chase can contribute with useful knocks and also take regular wickets along with Bishoo, Gabriel and Cummins. Overall, they have the resources to bounce back here and try to draw level with a win.
West Indies will be proud of its efforts that saw the hosts losing control of the game but they will be determined to work harder this time; Pakistan on the other hand has a battery of in-form bowlers and result-drive batsmen that put them in a better position to emerge victorious again