TEST MATCH: Amir’s five-for headlines rain-hit day
Mohammad Amir claimed his first five-wicket haul since that fateful Lord’s Test in 2010 to leave West Indies at 278 for 9 before rain put an end to a wet, miserable day in which only 11.3 overs were possible. After the morning session was wiped out owing to covers that leaked moisture on to the pitch – leaving the outfield so wet it had to be dried by lighting a fire over it – the players finally took the field more than four hours after they were scheduled to.
Jason Holder and Devendra Bishoo, carrying over a flamboyant partnership from the first day, were much more sedate now that Amir and Mohammad Abbas were in the attack. However, despite the heavy cloud cover, the new ball wasn’t nearly as lively as Pakistan might have hoped, and the batsmen looked fairly comfortable for the first half hour. But soon after, Bishoo perished reaching for a delivery from Amir that was well wide of off stump, getting a faint edge that carried comfortably through to Sarfraz Ahmed.
Holder, sensing he was running out of partners, took the attack to Abbas, walking down the track to launch him over mid-off for six, bringing up a brisk half-century. Next ball, he shifted gears from destructive to delicate as he opened the face of his bat to guide the ball through the slips, taking his side closer to 300.
Amir then had a whole over to bowl at Alzarri Joseph, and that was never going to end well for the No. 10 batsman. If Bishoo’s dismissal was scrappy, the one to dismiss Joseph and complete his five-wicket haul was all class. Class of 2009-10, to be precise. Not getting swing from over the wicket, Amir came around to Joseph, pitching the ball up at pace. It tailed in slightly, and crashed into Joseph’s off stump, who could perhaps find some solace in the knowledge that that delivery would have done for many of his team-mates batting higher up the order.
There was just enough time left for No. 11 Shannon Gabriel to play the shot of the day, driving Amir sweetly down the ground for four to take the West Indies total to 278. Two balls on, the heavens opened once more, forcing the players off the field for good. It might have felt like a wasted day, but you try telling Amir that. (ESPNCricinfo)