West Indies v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Roseau, 3rd day May 12, 2017

West Indies fight despite Yasir's three-for


West Indies 218 for 5 (Dowrich 20*, Holder 11*, Yasir 3-108) trail Pakistan 376 (Azhar 127, Misbah 59, Azam 55, Sarfraz 51, Chase 4-103) by 158 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 01:36
'It's a pitch where you can't force the issue' - Powell

Jason Holder and Shane Dowrich kept West Indies from disintegrating in the last hour of an engrossing but slow-moving day, finishing up at 218 for five, still trailing Pakistan by 158 runs. Things had looked bleak for Holder's men when their best batsman Roston Chase walked off midway after being struck on the elbow by a Mohammad Amir bouncer, but the others pulled their weight stoically enough to ensure they could claim a share of the spoils.

West Indies didn't lose any of their grit with Hope's dismissal at the stroke of tea. For little over an hour after the break, they frustrated Pakistan before Vishaul Singh, who has had a torrid first series, probably went a little too deep into his shell, especially against the faster bowlers. Even so, it was admirable to see the rookie fight it out on the pitch under considerable pressure although Misbah-ul-Haq was perhaps guilty of making it a little too easy for him, carrying on with the part-time of Azhar Ali from one end.

With the hosts fighting so gamely, the moment that turned the session against them was an exceptionally cruel twist of fate. The new ball was just three overs old When Mohammad Amir hurried Roston Chase into a pull shot, the ball striking him flush on the elbow. After lengthy treatment on the field, the series' highest run-scorer was forced to retire hurt.

For a Pakistan team that had been unable to penetrate in the session up till then, it would have seemed like a wicket. Vishaul succumbed two overs later to - predictably enough - pace. Mohammad Abbas swung the new ball in sharply to trap him plumb in front. Suddenly the West Indies looked vulnerable again, trailing as they did by 200 runs.

Fortunately for the West Indies, Holder and Dowrich showed the same determination to ensure they didn't go in to stumps having suffered any other blows in the face of a masterclass in discipline from the Pakistan pacers. Amir, in particular, continued to carry menace with the sort of short delivery that had injured Chase, striking Holder in the chest area once, and cramping both batsmen with the bouncer time and again.

Roston Chase fought through to make a half-century before retiring hurt © AFP

West Indies started the day in the sort of sedate fashion that has characterised much of this Test match, meandering along at a scoring rate well below two per over; only one boundary came in the first 25 overs. The day only came to life when Powell decided to take the attack to Yasir, but after shuffling across and sweeping him to the vacant square leg boundary once, he dragged a lofted hit to Azhar Ali at deep midwicket.

Shimron Hetmyer came out with the same plan of not allowing Yasir to settle. He drove Yasir for a boundary in the first over he faced him, and soon after, dispatched a short delivery for six over deep midwicket. But the wily legspinner had the last laugh again, getting one to turn in sharply from the rough, kissing Hetmyer's gloves with Sarfraz Ahmed taking a sharp catch. Pakistan may have not had the wicket had Sarfraz not confidently signalled for a review almost the moment umpire Bruce Oxenford adjudged not out.

Even so, West Indies still looked for scoring opportunities off Yasir, who ended the day having conceded nearly half the runs of the entire innings. It wasn't that he was bowling poorly - a lot of his balls were perfect legspinners with sharp turn - but his consistency deserted him, prompting a rare reprimand from Misbah. Yet, it didn't seem like he was far away from a wicket either.

That duly arrived in the last over before lunch when Brathwaite, who looked fairly comfortable up until then, jabbed at a delivery that spun away sharply to take the edge through to the wicketkeeper. The deadlock of the first hour was well and truly broken by then.

As in the first session, it was impossible to ignore the feeling that that the game was moving on only while Yasir was bowling. Ironically, it was Azhar Ali who pulled things back for Pakistan during the afternoon, taking the only wicket in the session off its last ball, with Hope slicing to Misbah at short cover.

It was a game that could have been snatched away from the West Indies in every session today. That they managed to hold Pakistan off and ensure they go in to day four still able to claim parity must feel like a small win in itself.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Daisycric on May 13, 2017, 18:45 GMT

    Those who were saying Pakistan played slowly what will they say about west indies team slow batting?? the fact is outfield is very slow, ball hardly cross boundary line, that mean batsman have to score in singles and double that mean scoring rate will be low. Pakistan is clearly in winning position in this test match.

  • vnrlifestyle on May 13, 2017, 17:36 GMT

    As I noted here yesterday, there is **zero pressure** on Pakistan in this test match because they were invited to bat first and are now batting third NOT LAST! 40/2, already leading by 169 and more than likely (even if they get bowled out for 120) to set WI a target of at least 250! That will put the inexperienced WI batting under substantial pressure, although I am always absurdly optimistic for any team to chase any total upto 455, provided they are given an asking rate of around 3 runs per over! It was the 4th innings chase alone that undid Pakistan in Barbados last week. This is admittedly a very different surface, and Pakistan bowled very well indeed this morning to earn a sizable first-innings lead. It is arguable that the match position would have been very different now if WI had scored 500 for a 125 run first inning lead. Didn't happen, and so we will have to conclude that Holder, simply by choosing not to bat first, missed a great chance to put a lot of pressure on Pakistan!

  • Metman on May 13, 2017, 17:20 GMT

    Why people can't see that Gayle,Samuels,Bravo brothers and Ramdin playing with or without Jason Holder as captain will be DISASTROUS for the WI continues to boggle the mind...yet we have in our midst one mngc1 who continues to fabricate stats on Ramdins' keeping ( in an effort to persuade or remind the selectors ???? ) WITHOUT ANY PROOF.... at one time saying 93% but now is 90% of chances taken.,while at the same time finding fault from Baugh to Thomas to Fletcher to Charles to Dowrich and to Hope..not knowing that he doesn't have to do all of that for there will always be HOPE for RAMDIN. All this was done at the same time he was pushing Pooran and Katwarro ( trinis ) and the U19 keeper who HE thought was Trini but after finding out he was NON TRINI began to criticize him with venom too.

  • cricfan9352767327 on May 13, 2017, 16:22 GMT

    Well Pakistan lost two wickets for 8 in the 2nd innings. They need to score about 170 to be in a safe position. I hope they don't crumble here like they did in the last match.

  • cricfan83650523 on May 13, 2017, 16:18 GMT

    Take Babar Azam Out of Test cricket. He ain't ready yet. He only scored a fifty in 6 innings I think. Failed in Australia also. He's not fully mature yet as a batsman. Instead, they should bring in Imad Wasim maybe and work on him. He is a left hander as well as a good left arm spinner.

  • aadil24 on May 13, 2017, 16:16 GMT

    Was Babar Adam out? I think it bounced.

  • rezauk on May 13, 2017, 15:59 GMT

    Azhar Ali no doubt a quality test batsman but so frustrating like in the 2nd test where a bad ball is played straight to the fielder when it was so easy to play it in the air or in this last innings in front of square. Unfortunately this sets the tone again for lack of ambition or confidence. Looking forward to Safraz in charge where there may be a few losses but definitely a powerhouse of a team going forward.

  • Mahishmati on May 13, 2017, 15:38 GMT

    Pak will bat snail way....they will surely bat till lunch or a little earlier .WI will also bat slow buying time...a tame draw is in cards...

  • cricfan39825308 on May 13, 2017, 15:35 GMT

    Sami Aslam should be brought back because Shan Masood is not technically a sound player.

  • cricfan72669173 on May 13, 2017, 15:20 GMT

    congratulations to abbas for getting first five. well played abbas

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