Yasir ends West Indies resistance


Yasir Shah tormented West Indies once again before Pakistan increased their lead to 342 at stumps on day three of the second Test in Abu Dhabi.

Leg-spinner Yasir took seven wickets as Pakistan won the opening Test of the three-match series and claimed figures of 4-86 on Sunday, with the tourists bowled out for 224 in reply to 452 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Azhar Ali led the Pakistan innings from the front with an unbeaten fifty.

The Windies produced a magnificent fightback to make a game of it by bowling Pakistan out for only 123 in the second innings in Dubai, but there was to be no repeat on an ‘attritional’ day.

Pakistan strengthened their grip on a one-sided contest, with Sami Aslam making 50 and the in-form Azhar Ali 52 not out as they closed on 114-1 to leave West Indies looking almost certain to slump to a series defeat.

Two late wickets reduced the Windies to 106-4 at the end of day two and they were soon five down after Jermaine Blackwood (8) edged Rahat Ali (3-45) behind with a loose stroke.

Nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo (20) struggled to contend with the swing generated by seamer Rahat, but dug in under pressure.

The spinner’s defiant knock came to end when Sohail Khan (2-35) uprooted his off stump and Yasir struck straight away with the second new ball to see the back of Roston Chase, who added a spirited 22 from 80 balls.

West Indies were 197-9 with Shai Hope (11) and Miguel Cummins (3) falling cheaply, with captain Jason Holder fortunate to be put down by Mohammad Nawaz at long-off on seven when he attempted to launch Yasir over the top.

Holder (31no) and Shannon Gabriel (13) delivered a few lusty blows in a stand of 27 for the last wicket, but Yasir finished off the innings when the latter was taken by Sohail at mid-on.

Misbah-ul-Haq again opted against enforcing the follow-on and his openers set about turning the screw, with the Windies left frustrated when Azhar successfully reviewed after being given out leg before off Kraigg Brathwaite on 10.

Azhar had a stroke of luck soon after when he cut Brathwaite and the ball struck the thigh of Blackwood, who would have needed incredible reactions to take the catch.

It was a day to forget for Brathwaite, who was also given an lbw decision by umpire Michael Gough when Aslam was struck on the pad but again the decision was overturned due to an inside edge.

The openers took Pakistan’s lead past 300 before Holder had Aslam caught behind following a review just after he brought up his fourth Test half-century, but Azhar also reached his 50 before stumps with a classy square cut after he was joined in the middle by Asad Shafiq (5no) late in the day.

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