Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz said that dew in the final session of the second day in the Dubai Test against West Indies had a significant impact on the pink ball, making it difficult for bowlers to find conventional or reverse swing well into the third day's play on Saturday.
Wahab, who took two late wickets on the third day, said that the seam and the ball lost its shape due to moisture and the bowlers found it easier once the old ball was changed 55 overs into West Indies' innings. West Indies finished the day at 315 for 6 in response to Pakistan's mammoth total of 579 for 3.
"It is difficult and we are having problems with it, specially under the lights," Wahab said. "The first two sessions are fine but in the third session there is a lot of dew and the ball gets wet, the seam gets swollen too. When we bowled with the same ball the next day, the ball was very soft and it doesn't do anything off the pitch. We neither got conventional swing nor reverse swing.
"After 55 overs it lost its shape because it got wet and we got another ball to bowl with which was a bit harder and that was going through nicely. The way Sohail Khan bowled to Samuels and we got that wicket because of the ball, which was harder and it was skidding on."
Pakistan broke the 113-run, third-wicket partnership between Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels after Sohail Khan dismissed Bravo for 76, more than 10 overs after the ball had been changed. After the dinner break, Wahab dismissed Jermaine Blackwood and Roston Chase in successive overs to firm up Pakistan's advantage.
Samuels who had played an attacking 76, with 13 fours in his innings, attributed his dismissal to his failure to pick the ball off Sohail's high-arm action.
"This is my first game with the pink ball. Apart from the long day, you see the ball better the longer you play, you will always find a bowler who is going to give you problems," Samuels said. "For me, the bowler who got me out had a high-arm action and I wasn't picking out the ball as well as possible. A couple of times in the outfield you react late to the ball. So I guess we scored 300 runs so it's very good for the game. But with the pink ball, we have to play more games to get used to it."
West Indies' total of 315 for 6 was only the sixth time the team had scored 300 or more runs in 29 Test innings [16 matches] since January 2015. Samuels said the team had played according to the demands of the format and hoped this response would become a template for them to replicate in later Tests. He also hoped that the overnight pair of Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder could thwart Pakistan's bowlers with a strong partnership on the fourth day.
"We played Test cricket today," Samuels said. "We were patient put away the bad balls and picked up singles here and there so this is Test cricket and this is the way it should be played. We should use (how we played) today as a team and try and be more consistent in what we do.
"Shane Dowrich is in good touch, you could see that. Hopefully he can go on and get a big one. Jason Holder has a Test hundred so we still have enough batting there. Hopefully we can get a big enough partnership from these two guys."