West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Bridgetown, 1st day April 30, 2017

Classy Chase leads West Indies rally


West Indies 286 for 6 (Chase 131*, Holder 58*, Abbas 2-47, Amir 2-52) v Pakistan
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 01:07
Roston Chase, the Caribbean's Crisis Man

A day that started with ominous familiarity for the West Indies ended in unexpected success as the hosts recovered from a middle order meltdown to post 286 for 6 at stumps. Roston Chase was primarily responsible for the turnaround, an unbeaten 131 - just his second century - dominating the day, while Jason Holder's unbeaten fifty helped run Pakistan ragged in a final session off which they scored 120.

Chase's awareness around the crease was excellent, knowing exactly when to leave the ball. He was equally effective at adjusting his feet when facing the spinners, and was in position to take advantage when they dropped the ball either short or bowled full. The stroke that brought up his century was a fitting snapshot of how he had played: a delightful cover drive off an overpitched delivery from legpinner Shadab Khan, who had a particularly harsh introduction to the longest format. In the absence of Yasir Shah for most parts of the final session, he was summoned but failed to ring in any sort of consistency.

The evening session began, somewhat familiarly, with Holder joining Chase to play his part in yet another rearguard. With the West Indies top and middle order disappointing so regularly, Holder's runs in the lower order have become essential to his side, rather than just an added bonus. To his credit, he delivers more often than not, and he gave Chase stellar support.

With Yasir clearly hampered by a back niggle and unable to bowl at full tilt, Pakistan were at times reduced to being a three-man attack. Chase and Holder were wise to the situation, ensuring they didn't give a wicket away easily and waited for the bowlers to tire. As they did, their intensity invariably dropped and for the first time all day, Pakistan looked like they were waiting for a wicket to fall instead of actively hunting for one.

West Indies had perhaps expected an easier ride after winning the toss and choosing to bat in favourable conditions, but a splendid new ball spell from both Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Abbas put them on the back foot straightaway. The wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite, when it came, had a sense of inevitability to it, the right-hander edging an Amir delivery that held its line. When Shimron Hetmyer fell flashing at a ball outside off stump soon after, the lack of experience was telling.

With the pitch seen as conducive to spin bowling, Misbah-ul-Haq turned to Yasir as early as the eleventh over. There was sharp turn on offer for the legspinner right away, hardly a ringing endorsement of the wicket, what with this being the first morning of the Test. But with the under-fire Shai Hope having gone into his shell, Yasir pitched one on a length around middle stump. Hope failed to get on the front foot in time, and the ball took the edge through to Sarfraz Ahmed as West Indies slumped to 37 for 3.

Amir provided Pakistan the next breakthrough, ripping a yorker into Powell's toes that tailed in at serious pace, taking the slow pitch out of the equation. The umpire turned down the appeal, but Amir was sure, and Hawk-Eye agreed with him. Wickets continued to fall as West Indies threatened to fold for a sub-200 total, as the hosts were reduced to 154 for 6. The players went in for tea soon after; the fans will probably have needed something stronger.

What they couldn't have known was Chase and Holder would concoct the perfect tonic to soothe their disappointment in the final session, as the West Indies improbably finished the day on even terms. With the partnership standing at 132, and still unbeaten, the fans had better turn up tomorrow, too. They certainly haven't seen this before.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Metman on May 2, 2017, 9:45 GMT

    West Indies need a FAST BOWLER who has more wickets than NO BALLS.Gabriel has 91 NO BALLS to date and 53 Test wickets.

  • tonobwoy on May 2, 2017, 1:15 GMT

    MEKKAYEL did WestIndies win when he made 103? Did Chase make 200 or holder make a 100 which you predicted?

  • swarzi on May 1, 2017, 20:30 GMT

    I heard Jeffery Dujon's take on what he thinks should be the composition of the playing 11; and though I agree with him in most of what he has said, I disagree with the bowler type for the replacement. The reason: unless that he's agreeing with me that Holder should not be considered a bowler of any great significance, I can't see why the addition should be another "fast" bowler. I've been watching off-spinner Ashley Nurse (errata: I said Austin nurse earlier) for some time now, and I think that he has some potentials. I think that Nurse would be a better addition based on the types of wickets that are being prepared in the Caribbean these days - they more suit spinners than fast bowlers. I know that he kept fast bowlers for his entire career, hence his preference, but my reason is stated. I also want readers to note here, that I am blind to where the player comes from. All my concern has to do with the best WI team under the circumstances - for the improvement of WI cricket.

  • swarzi on May 1, 2017, 20:09 GMT

    The current situation with WI bowling is proving what is being said over and again. You can't win test matches with just one or two bowlers. It is unfair to Holder really call him a bowler, because his record shows that he is bowling at less than a wicket per innings. But just as how no "fraction of a man" exists in counting, there is no "less than a wicket" in cricket! Hence, as soon as a bowler's stats begin to be described via such attributes, he really has no role in that department - it's just logic. It is the reason that I say that if management thinks that Holder is good enough to consistently bat and make runs, play him as a batsman; then the little or nothing that he does with the ball may become useful in a match such as this one, but only when he's asked to bowl some defensive overs until Gabriel and Joseph have had some rest. This will also give them the option to add another "effective" bowler to the team. I've also been on record saying that Bishoo never impressed me.

  • canarytabby on May 1, 2017, 14:10 GMT

    2 in 2 overs, what a start.

  • mngc1 on May 1, 2017, 13:43 GMT

    The use of stats to try to predict a single future occurrence is totally ridiculous and meaningless. For example T&T was hit by hurricane Flora in 1963 and Alma in 1974. Then use this information to predict that a hurricane will hit T&T in 11 years i.e. 1985. There has been no direct hurricane since 1974. In the same way saying that Gabriel only took 1 five for in his five years so he will next take one in 2022 is politely described as dumb. There are many factors that affect performance such as injuries, age, selectors, new players on the scene, form, etc.

  • ammar7may on May 1, 2017, 13:42 GMT

    Pakistan has paid the price of playing one pacer less. @Fijicricket: send you batsmen. Let's see. Roston Chase also made a century against Ind. Now he is more experienced. The first day has yielded an equal chance for both Pak and WI, and this test is going to show a seesaw trend. Let's see what result emerges at the end. Perhaps, we would see a masterpiece of the fourth innings specialist in his last series.

  • Cricinfouser on May 1, 2017, 13:35 GMT

    hoping to see a good addition to the score of 286 today. maybe another 100 runs today for wi to put some pressure on pakistan batsmen. and they can pick up a few quick wickets with the new ball. let's go wi. cheers............

  • mngc1 on May 1, 2017, 13:12 GMT

    Fortunately most here would have seen the numbers posted a couple of weeks ago showing Ramdin took 90% of chances and not the BLATANT LIE by METMAN who said it was 73%. I ALWAYS said that Holder should retain his place as a batsman so that was another LIE. The moderator should vet his posts. With Holder showing such form with the bat I question his captaincy because he should take responsibility and bat higher in the order and make room by dropping non performers. If Holder bats # 4 - 6, drop Hope, Hetmeyer and Singh (both need more time but not in WI colours yet). This leaves room for 2 more which would include Blackwood. It is impossible for METMAN to tell the truth so he bombards the site with many posts to try to get people believing.

  • Jawad Hassan on May 1, 2017, 13:01 GMT

    Congrats Pakistan to Become 3rd Position in ICC T20 Ranking by Beating Westindies in their Backyard. Also they never loose a one day series with westindies since 1991. Inshallah Pakistan will also win this Test series and make the History to win the series first series against them in their Backyard. Go Green Go. After all the Problems to not Play in their own Home (Pakistan) they are still making Progress. Commendable Performance from you guys.

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