Sports

Shaheen Afridi’s six wickets help take the initiative against the West Indies

Kingston (Jamaica), August 24 (IANS) A career-best performance from Shaheen Afridi (6/51) and a quick second innings with bats from Pakistan has created a captivating final day in the second Test against the Caribbean, with the tourists now want to win and level the series at Sabina Park.

Bowled out to 150 shortly after lunch on day 4, the West Indies finished the day on 49/1 in their second innings, chasing 329 to win.

Afridi was the star of the day and took 6/51 before Pakistan’s batsmen declared their innings on 176/6. The Tourists needed to force a result to level the series, and the Tourists approached their second innings as if it were a one-dayer, scoring 176 at just 27.2 overs before declaring.

Earlier, the West Indies started the day in trouble on 39/3 and their situation seemed to be deteriorating rapidly as Afridi pulled an edge from night guard Alzarri Joseph (4) who was caught by Babar Azam low left at third drop. Joseph was the third butcher to Afridi for innings, with the high pacer standing for both openers on day 3.

The situation improved for the West Indies when Nkrumah Bonner (37) and Jermaine Blackwood (33) put up a stable 60-run stand to take them past 100. Unfortunately for Kraigg Brathwaite’s side, the duo’s hard work was regretted over two overs.

Bonner was the first of the pair to hit a pass from Mohammad Abbas (3/44) behind, where the sailor got a ball on off-stub to correct just enough. Abbas struck again on his very first ball and nodded Kyle Mayers after a golden duck.

It was a crash when Afridi jumped Blackwood out with a ball that ballooned out of the bat’s outer shoulder to be taken by Fawad Alam – the star of day 3, who dived back and to the right to take a good catch at the gorge. From 105/4, the West Indies had fallen to 109/7.

Abbas rattled the West Indies again as he caught Joshua Da Silva in front at six before Afridi completed a six-wicket move with layoffs from Jason Holder (26) and Kemar Roach (8) to end the West Indies’ innings early in the second session, gives Pakistan a lead of 152.

After losing the first Test, Pakistan took a bold approach in their second innings. By the time Abid Ali (29) fell to Joseph (2/24) in the 10th inning, they had already added 70 to their score. Imran Butt (37), Azhar Ali (22) and Azam (33) all managed to contribute to strike speeds of better than 70, with the promoted Hasan Ali hitting two sixes en route to 17 off 11. Hasan and Abid were among four Pakistani batters for to score better than running a ball when Azam declared 10 overs in the evening session.

The Caribbean ended the day with nine wickets in hand, and needed another 280 races to win. They enjoyed a solid start to their innings as Brathwaite and Kieran Powell added 34 runs to the first wicket before the latter ran out of a direct hit from Afridi from the boundary.

Brathwaite (17 *) and Joseph (8 *) resume play on day five with all four possible outcomes.

Short score: Pakistan 302/9 decl and 176/6 decl in 27.2 decl vs West Indies 150 in 51.3 overs (N Bonner 37, J Blackwood 33; M Abbas 3/44, S Afridi 6/51) and 49 / 1 (K Powell 23).

–IANS

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