West Indies v Pakistan, 1st Test, Kingston, 5th day April 25, 2017

Misbah thanks team for 'special gift'

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Yasir Shah's four wickets late on day four helped Pakistan gallop towards a win © AFP

If you had glanced at the weather forecast for Kingston last Friday, you might have been forgiven for wondering if the city had any business hosting a Test match. There was rain expected across all five days, with dry spells in between. When Misbah-ul-Haq looked at it, he knew there was only one plausible path to victory, which his team achieved shortly after lunch on the fifth day.

Misbah himself played no small part. Having contributed 99 not out to stretch the first-innings lead, which eventually proved decisive, he came out to biff two successive sixes to seal the game. Soon after, Misbah said the thought of this being his final series hadn't prevented him from playing without having fun.

"If you're not enjoying yourself, then there's no point of playing. I'm not the kind of person who would linger on if I wasn't having fun," he said. "These wins are special, and this is one more Test match that the team has given to me as a gift."

While the batsmen's role in giving a first-innings cushion can't be overstated, it was the bowlers who ensured victory was possible despite losing almost all of the second day to rain. "With tricky weather, the idea was to win the toss and bowl first," he said. "We just had one chance to get them out quickly and then play one good innings. Otherwise it wasn't going to be possible.

"We knew that it was going to be tough batting on the fifth day. I think the bowlers did very well. In the first innings (Mohammad) Amir, especially, his spell was crucial. In the second innings, again Amir and especially Yasir's spell was incredible. Getting six wickets this morning in no time was the game changer."

The one worry Pakistan could have is that going in with just one spin bowler risks overworking the faster bowlers. This concern, however, did not manifest itself during the game, with West Indies lasting just 147.4 overs across both innings.

With 19-year old Shadab Khan, who impressed during the limited-overs leg of the series, waiting in the wings, Misbah admitted that playing a second legspinner was a possibility, but said a call would only be taken after assessing the conditions.

"Our combination will depend on the conditions we get, and especially how the pitch looks before the Test match," he said. "This pitch had a lot of moisture and that is why we opted to bowl first and go with three seamers. With our combination, it's difficult, it's difficult to sneak in the fifth bowler, especially since we have six specialist batsmen, so having three fast bowlers and two spinners becomes tricky."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BestBat on April 30, 2017, 1:01 GMT

    I am sorry for West Indies Cricket.

  • BestBat on April 30, 2017, 0:59 GMT

    All I could say is iam sorry for West Indies Cricket Phil Simmons was the best man to coach the team I honestly would like to no how Cameron and could feeling I guess they don't care because they have a pay check to collect.

  • imran_abbas on April 29, 2017, 9:13 GMT

    Shadab bowling is good. His batting untested.. test matches will help explore his batting too.

  • GoodAreasShane on April 28, 2017, 4:28 GMT

    I honestly think Holder could be good enough to bat at six really. As an Australian I would quite happily trade him for Mitchell Marsh.

  • wpbus13 on April 27, 2017, 13:47 GMT

    A win is a win but a win against this West Indies team is like winning a first class game. There are so many issues with the team, it is impossible to list all and have been discussed ad nauseam! It is no wonder people do not show up to watch West Indies cricket anymore. Can you blame them?

  • Cricinfouser on April 27, 2017, 12:27 GMT

    I don't think that staurt law has too much input in the selection panel. has seems to be more of a,coach. Courtney brown and jimmy Adams should look into these major concerns that's the causes for continued failures. also the higher ups. I am just giving my views even though it may not mean too much. ok for the upcoming second test. how about if the selectors strengthen the bowling attack by bringing in both taylor and cummings to back up gabriel and joseph. let's go back to the 70s and 80s and try it with 4 fast bowlers. with Andy roberts as coach. HOW ABOUT THAT, bring in mohamed and replace with hope.

  • cricfan65342968 on April 27, 2017, 11:14 GMT

    I want to hear what Stuart Law has to say about only having only 2 pace bowlers in the side who can take wickets, a captain who bowls donkey drops when he should be bowling genuinely quicke, 2 spin bowlers who are ineffective at this level, batsmen that can only make the occasional 50s because they lack total footwork and understanding in how to build an innings, dropped catches and rubbish fielding and don't waste articles talking about whether Carlos Braithwaite is fit for international cricket, the simple truth he is a waste of space at that level!

  • Cricinfouser on April 27, 2017, 11:02 GMT

    I don't think the wi selectors will make too many changes for the 2nd test but jerome Taylor would be a good bowler to back up gabriel and joseph. mohamed could replace shai hope. I guess they will keep holder as Captain which is negative. the selectors will go for cummings but they should note that he is still inexperiance. Taylor has more sting

  • mohddar on April 27, 2017, 9:25 GMT

    Look, Shadab and yasir will surely play together one day- why not try them now when the best captain of pakistan is at the helm of affairs.

  • Ali Khan on April 27, 2017, 7:17 GMT

    good win, could have been more comprehensive

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