Bishoo eight-for revives contest in Dubai Test
(ESPNcricinfo) A 16-wicket day brought the Dubai day-night Test to life as Pakistan’s 400th Test swung one way and then the other. After Yasir Shah’s three wickets – which brought him a five-wicket haul and his 100th Test scalp – helped Pakistan secure a 222-run first-innings lead, Devendra Bishoo hit back with a career-best 8 for 49 to skittle Pakistan for 123 and leave West Indies with an outside chance of victory.
West Indies lost Kraigg Brathwaite early in their chase of 346, before Leon Johnson and Darren Bravo shared a 60-run stand to lift the team. But Johnson’s late dismissal and Marlon Samuels’ early struggles against the legspin of Yasir served a reminder that West Indies still had an uphill task on the final day.
Having declined to impose the follow-on, Pakistan chased quick runs and lost two early wickets before tea. Sami Aslam and Babar Azam added 57 off 70 balls after the interval to steady the innings and swiftly build the lead. But Bishoo then benefitted from some ambitious shots, and some good, spinning deliveries to rip through Pakistan, taking seven of the eight wickets that fell either side of the dinner break.
With the score at 77 for 2 and the lead at 299, Azam played a loose cross-batted shot onto his stumps off Bishoo. Aslam played a late cut into the hands of Jermaine Blackwood at first slip and Misbah-ul-Haq was bowled after missing a slog sweep. The left-handed Mohammad Nawaz shouldered arms to his third ball, only to see a fizzing leg break cannon into his off stump. When Wahab Riaz miscued a slog sweep to Brathwaite at deep midwicket, Bishoo had his sixth of the innings. Jason Holder then had Yasir caught and bowled off the last ball before dinner.
Bishoo wrapped up the innings within five balls of the resumption, getting Sarfraz Ahmed stumped, before hitting Mohammad Amir’s middle stump, his fourth bowled dismissal of the innings. That capped a collapse of eight wickets for 46 runs. Bishoo’s plunder and Pakistan’s slump still left West Indies with a daunting target, but they could hardly have dreamed of a better outcome at the start of the day.
Day four had begun much as day three had done – with an early wicket for Yasir. A very full legbreak pitched just in line with the stumps and spun in before hitting the batsman’s pads. Dowrich had played across the line and missed.
Bishoo and Holder then survived a stern short-ball examination from Amir and Wahab, putting on a 21-run stand that raised West Indies’ hopes of extending their resistance. That was not to be – Yasir got through Holder’s defences with a tossed-up googly and then bowled Miguel Cummins with a big-spinning leg break that evaded the batsman’s wild swipe. That was Yasir’s 100th Test wicket, in his 17th match, making him the joint-second fastest bowler to the mark. Nawaz finished the job in the next over. It had taken Pakistan just 14.5 overs to take the remaining four wickets, bowling West Indies out for 357.
West Indies responded by making a couple of breakthroughs before tea. Shannon Gabriel trapped first-innings triple-centurion Azhar Ali in front for 2, a ball after Azhar had successfully reviewed a caught-behind decision. Then Asad Shafiq missed an attempted sweep off Bishoo and, while West Indies’ appeal for lbw was turned down, their review was successful.
After tea, Gabriel and Cummins subjected Aslam and Azam to the type of short-ball barrage with which Pakistan had exposed the West Indies batsmen. While Aslam held his own, Azam struggled, showing a tendency to take his eyes off the ball. A Cummins bouncer hurried Azam into a top-edged hook that went high in the air between Gabriel at long leg and Brathwaite at deep-backward square. It was probably Brathwaite’s catch, but Gabriel went for it and could not hold on after a full-length dive.
Cummins bounced Azam again in the next over and the batsman half-swayed and half-ducked while leaving his bat in the air. The ball brushed his glove on the way to the wicketkeeper, but Azam survived once again when replays revealed that the bowler had overstepped. Azam eventually got out to Bishoo, precipitating Pakistan’s collapse as the legspinner from Guyana went on the rampage. West Indies then moved to 95 for 2 by the close.
While a wicket-filled day brought West Indies back into the match, they will require the balance to shift back in favour of the batsmen if they are to score the 251 more runs needed for victory on a fifth-day Dubai pitch.