West Indies vs Pakistan, 2nd Test: Pakistan recovers through Babar and Fawad
Pakistan recovered well from their early innings, they were reduced to 2/3 and in all sorts of trouble after being asked to bat first. It was the skipper Babar Azam and Fawad Alam partnership that really dug them out of a whole.
Pakistan ended the first day of the second Test at Kingston against the West Indies on 212-4 (74 overs), after being put in to bat. Bad light forced the players to come off with potentially 16 overs still to be bowled.
Pakistan *212/4 (74 ov)
Day Break : Day 1 West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl
Roach x Holder! What a delivery! What a Catch!— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) August 20, 2021
Babar Azam goes for 75!#WIvPAK #MenInMaroon pic.twitter.com/Hc1mjoGslI
Kemar Roach, the hero of the opening Test at the same venue, gave his side a huge advantage by sending back Abid Ali and Azhar Ali by the third over. In the very next over Jayden Seales, had Imran Butt caught at the wicket and Pakistan with only 2 runs on the board, had lost three wickets. The bowlers had certainly vindicated skipper Kraigg Brathwaite’s decision to bowl first.
Not for the first time in recent years, skipper Babar Azam and Fawad Alam were asked to dig out their side from a horrendous start. The pair got their head down to ride the early storm and by lunch the total had reached 62-3. In the afternoon session, Babar reached his fifty off 96 balls with 9 fours whereas his partner needed five more deliveries to reach the milestone with eight hits to the boundary.
The fourth wicket stand between Babar and Fawad flourished in the middle session by adding 80 runs and walking out with Pakistan 145-3 (50 overs) at tea. Patience and sound selection of strokes were the key for the tourists recovering after the fall of three wickets in no time. The game was played in sapping hit as it accounted for West Indies wicket-keeper Joshua Da Silva, who was replaced by Jahmar Hamilton. In the post tea session, Fawad was forced to retire hurt with 76 to his name, also suffering from severe cramps. He had added 158 runs with Babar and would be resuming his fighting knock, sometime tomorrow.
Following Fawad’s loss, Pakistan’s run-rate dipped and West Indies were lifted by the dismissal of Babar Azam, who was out to a brilliant low catch at second slip by Jason Holder. Babar would have loved to add a Test hundred in the Caribbean today but his innings came to a sudden end after a fluent 75 (174balls, 13 fours). His exit resulted in two relatively new batsmen – Mohammad Rizwan & Faheem Ashraf - at the crease. The 44-run stand between the two has enabled Pakistan to finish the opening day, with a first innings total of 300, very much on their mind as the first target on the second day. Roach with 3-49 was the pick of the West Indies bowlers today.
Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Abid Ali - 0.3 ov), 2-2 (Azhar Ali - 2.3 ov), 3-2 (Imran Butt - 3.5 ov), 4-168 (Babar Azam - 60.4 ov)
West Indies - Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Kieran Powell, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Jayden Seales
Pakistan - Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Naseem Shah, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi
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