Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah bamboozled the West Indies’ batting line-up and finished with a six-wicket haul to lead his side to a seven-wicket win in Jamaica.
Starting off the day on 93/4, the West Indies added 17 runs to their overnight score before debutant Vishaul Singh was clean bowled by Mohammad Amir for nine runs.
A short while later, debutant Mohammad Abbas took two wickets in the space of three balls as he removed Devendra Bishoo for 18 and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich for a duck.
Captain Jason Holder could only muster 14 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Wahab Riaz.
Yasir, who took four wickets on the fourth day, added the final nails in the coffin as he took out Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel to leave the West Indies all out on 152, which set Pakistan a target of 32 to win.
Yasir was easily the pick of the bowlers with six wickets, while Abbas snapped up two, and Amir and Riaz chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 32 runs to win, Pakistan were put on the back foot early on as Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali and Younis Khan were dismissed in quick succession.
However, despite the West Indies’ best efforts to put up a fight, Pakistan proceeded to win the match courtesy of back-to-back sixes from captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who finished unbeaten on 12 off three balls.
Gabriel, Joseph and Bishoo claimed one wicket each.
Holder was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “Not enough runs in the first innings. We lost wickets earlier and could never consolidate with any partnership in the middle. We needed to get in excess of 300 runs, but didn’t.
“Lost early wickets again in the second innings. Yasir Shah did bowl well, but we could have batted a lot better. It’s a tough phase, but it is what it is. I have full confidence in this young group. We just got to stick together and learn. We definitely need to get off to a better start.
“Kraigg Brathwaite couldn’t get going in this Test match. The last time we beat Pakistan, he carried his bat through both innings. Every single bowler who bowled in this pitch, it was a tough pitch, deserves credit. We lost a few opportunities in the field.”
Misbah was delighted to have gone 1-0 up in the three-Test series, and said: “It was tricky. When you’re chasing such a small target, you tend to relax, but that can happen in cricket. We won the game in the end, so pretty satisfied with that and good to see the team doing well.
“Tricky weather, first day, winning the toss and bowling, there was only one chance to get them out quickly with the weather. The bowlers did well, especially Amir in the first innings and Yasir. Yasir, especially in the second innings, getting six on a still bat-able pitch. It depends on the conditions and how the pitch is, especially before the start of the Test.
“This pitch had a lot of moisture which is why we had to bowl three seamers. We can have three fast bowlers and two spinners, but it is difficult. Let’s see what kind of pitch we get in the net two matches. I have always said if you are not enjoying, you need to go. I am not the kind of person who lingers on. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the boys.”
Yasir was named Man of the Match, and said: “I just try to stick to my lines and lengths. I prepared well and did good drills. I worked on my bowling, so I did not have pressure, but I tried to concentrate on performing. This ball slips a bit, but the focus is on trying to bowl in one area. I played in the England series and did well. The Australia series did not have much for the spinners. I just pray that I perform well in this series.”