Azhar Ali’s scintillating 121, followed by Misbah-ul-Haq’s steady 59 and quickfire 51 from Sarfraz Ahmed, ensured Pakistan’s first innings total of 376 on day two of the final Test match at Windsor Park in Dominica.
After resuming from where he left off the previous day, Azhar Ali – slowly and solidly – reached to his 14th Test century to frustrate West Indies. He was finally bowled by Roston Chase as he attempted a slog sweep over midwicket, bringing an end to an innings that lasted 334 deliveries.
Misbah-ul-Haq, who walked out to a grand reception as West Indies players gathered around him to form their second guard of honor of the Test, was lucky to survive after his thick outside edge was spilled by keeper Shane Dowrich when on 0. He went on to add 59 runs to stable the visitors’ position in the match.
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Pakistan looked set to bat through the day at one stage, but the hosts came back into it in the final session of play, capturing Pakistan’s remaining five wickets for only 65 runs. Sarfraz Ahmed brought his street-cricket skills to the fore, scoring a handy 51 off just 73 deliveries.
In response, Kraigg Brathwaite and Keiron Powell safely negotiated an uncomfortable last half hour to head to stumps unscathed.
“As a batsman you would like to score as fluently as you can but, as you can see, the outfield is really slow and the ball doesn’t really travel and it gets soft,” Azhar Ali said at stumps on day 2 in Dominica.
“It’s hard to clear the infield first and if you do then it doesn’t go far. It’s really hard and sometimes you had to hit a six to get going again. It was tough but we wanted to score 400 runs in the first innings and we got close to that. From now on, we have to dominate the game and try and put pressure on West Indies.”
“I think at some stage the reverse-swing should be coming in to play. They are all good fast bowlers, specially Hasan, who is making his debut. He’s a very exciting bowler to look at and he’s quite skiddy, so hopefully he can get some reverse swing going. They are very capable of picking up 20 wickets on it and it is really important for us to finish off the series.”
Day 2 Summary
West Indies 14 for 0 (Powell 9*, Brathwaite 5*) trail Pakistan 376 (Azhar 127, Misbah 59, Azam 55, Sarfraz 51, Chase 4-103) by 362 runs