West Indies v Pakistan, 1st Test, Kingston, 3rd day April 23, 2017

Gabriel strikes back on Younis' record day


Pakistan 201 for 4 (Misbah 5*, Shafiq 5*) trail by West Indies 286 (Chase 63, Holder 57*, Dowrich 56, Amir 6-44) 85 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Younis Khan and Babar Azam added 131 for the third wicket © AFP

It sometimes felt as if the sole purpose for playing this Test match was to provide Younis Khan a platform to score the 23 runs he has needed to become the first Pakistan cricketer to score 10,000 runs. If that was indeed the case, then the purpose had been served. Younis swept - of course he swept - to the fine-leg boundary to reach the milestone, and the wait was over.

It happened two balls after the tea interval. Younis had, of course, left us all hanging at the break with his career runs tally reading 9999, and for perhaps 15 minutes, it was a figure almost as famous in cricket as 99.94. But then after two balls (although really after 70 years), it happened. The newest addition to the 10,000-run club took off his helmet and set off for the tiny cluster of Pakistan fans huddled together. He raised his bat, pointed at the Pakistan crest on his shirt and set to work on what he knew best: batting in Test match cricket.

There was almost a palpable sense that a burden had been lifted, and Pakistan's scoring rate picked up sharply after that. The West Indies pacemen had tired themselves out, and the spin bowlers - Devendra Bishoo excepted - were child's play for the pair to handle. Having come through a cagey second session, Younis and Babar Azam tucked into Roston Chase and Kraigg Brathwaite, during a stand of 131 for the third wicket, a six into the second tier by Younis the shot of the day.

Jason Holder was forced to return to the quicks once again, and called upon Shannon Gabriel to do something about a match that was slipping away from his side. The move paid off almost immediately. In just Gabriel's second over back, Younis, who had perhaps relaxed a bit too much, failed to keep an attempted cover drive along the ground, spooning it straight to Brathwaite at short extra cover. It wasn't before Younis had scored a valuable 58, though, putting his side in control of an innings that had been quivering at 54 for 2 when he came in.

Gabriel wasn't done, however, accounting for Babar in his next over, the young batsman playing on to his stumps after making a composed 72 off 201 deliveries as a seesawing Test began to even up again. The new batsmen, Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq, simply shut up shop thereafter as the quicks continued to push for another wicket in fading light. But the pair, nothing if not defensively resolute, held on till the close of play, Misbah surviving a review off what turned out to be the last ball of the day, setting the game up for an intriguing last couple of days.

The day had started with Mohammad Amir wrapping up the home side's innings, which had stretched on interminably owing to a combination of uncooperative weather and a wagging tail. They came out nine wickets down, and Amir needed just nine deliveries to account for Gabriel. It was almost a replica of the ball that did for Alzarri Joseph yesterday, angling in to Gabriel from around the wicket to crash into the middle stump and giving Amir his career-best bowling figures of 6 for 44.

Pakistan were dealt an early blow when Azhar Ali, indisputably their best batsmen of late, fell to a short wide delivery from Joseph that he will rue flashing at. It caught the edge and Shane Dowrich took a smart catch behind the wicket, but from Pakistan's point of view it will have felt like a wicket gifted. Ahmed Shahzad struck some confident boundaries on his return to the Test side but fell soon after, as a Holder delivery nipped in late to strike him on the back leg, bringing Younis and Babar together.

The pair hung around gamely in the face of a disciplined West Indian attack, ensuring they went in to tea having suffered no more setbacks. It took Younis 48 minutes and ten overs across two sessions to so much as get off the mark as the pace bowlers employed a consistent off-stump line and good length in otherwise unhelpful bowling conditions. Babar and Younis were equal to it, not about to throw their wickets away playing false shots, and consequently the session took on the feel of a stalemate. However, with Gabriel's late intervention taking the advantage away from Pakistan, the crowning glory is still very much up for grabs.

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sherwine on April 24, 2017, 23:58 GMT

    Gabriel took three wickets!!! Who was calling for his omission?

  • ammar7may on April 24, 2017, 17:20 GMT

    Congrats to YK for 10k, and Saf for 2k. Congrats to Pak for now being in lead. Pak are targeting 450 from here (120 runs from 40 overs from here @ 3 runs per over). They will have 20+8 overs today to try onto WI batting line up.

  • cricfan05094208 on April 24, 2017, 17:08 GMT

    Loved the way sarfraz played alone shifted the momentum of match in favour of Pakistan which was dead because of excessive tuk tuk.

  • nizankhan on April 24, 2017, 17:02 GMT

    I think it is time for Misbah to accelerate if they are planning to win the match. Pakistan should only play 30 more overs today and get at least 100 run lead. They can't just bat this slow and get away with it, they can't blame the weather. If WI draws this test match then it will be considered a loss for Pakistan. Middle order played very slow cricket, just because it is a test match it doesn't mean you cannot take singles and twos. If their objection is that if they play "fast" they will loose wicket then they do not belong in the team. I really hope Misbah is planning to only play 30 overs max and declaring after that.

  • mngc1 on April 24, 2017, 16:42 GMT

    @paddyrasta2. T20 and ODIs need results but test cricket is littered with draws. Speeding up the SR would mean taking some chances. That may lead to WI getting chances to win. Pakistan is ahead of WI in the ratings so to preserve the rankings Pakistan does not need to win. Make WI take the chances if they want to move up would be Pakistan's strategy. As for Gabriel bowling wide yesterday it MAY have been a deliberated plan to keep Younis in the nervous 9990s to elicit a false stroke from him in frustration. I don't know for sure. What I do know is that had Singh held the catch the best WI bowler would have been pushing for a 5 for now and that would raise Metman and Cricinfouser blood pressures. And Holder continues his bad judgement calls re DRS usage which reflects on his ca[ptaincy.

  • doosra-sheru on April 24, 2017, 16:33 GMT

    WHOA.......Pakistani fans should appreciate this innings by the captain .......This was no "tuk...tuk" innings but a real fighting innings against at least 2 young WI pacers .He might still overhaul the WI score .....

  • mar2000 on April 24, 2017, 16:11 GMT

    TEST cricket, its for the fittest of the fittest of the mind. No cow swipe , blind Elder style stuff. WI is in need for "wicket taking bowlers".

  • canarytabby on April 24, 2017, 16:11 GMT

    Pakistan will have plenty time Spare for the beach tomorrow.

  • canarytabby on April 24, 2017, 16:09 GMT

    Ref metman., So far to date Holder has bowled more overs than Gabriel. Gabriel Is huffing & puffing, So he is not fit, but just check the Wicket Colum. So just imagine if only he was fit, To be or not to be is the Question.??????

  • Nasar86 on April 24, 2017, 15:39 GMT

    That was a pathetic effort from asad shafiq. No attempt to make runs. Misbah currently has a strike rate of 28 after 60 odd balls. I could understand this kind of batting if you are trying to save the test or it's a fifth day wicket or even if it's world class bowling but this is just ridiculous. Poor and boring cricket which pretty much sums up both teams.

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