Pakistan openers Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam decimated the West Indies with a double-century stand as their team cruised to 279-1 on the opening day of the second ever day-night cricket Test on Thursday. Azhar marked Pakistan’s 400th Test with an unbeaten 146, hitting 14 boundaries. Aslam made 90, missing out on his maiden hundred in his fifth Test after captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and opted to bat. Both batsmen shared a 215-run partnership in nearly five hours, before Aslam was bowled by offspinner Roston Chase for the West Indies’ lone success.
That’s the end of the day/night. Pakistan in complete control at 279/1 after ton from Azhar Ali (146*) and a solid 90 by Sami Aslam. West Indies will have work to do when they come out on the second day of the first ever pink-ball Test in Asia
Azhar Ali punches one through the covers region, comes back for the second brings up the 250 for Pakistan. It has been a brilliant day for both Ali and Pakistan. Still around 10 overs left, and the ‘hosts’ would be happy to be in the position they are in at the moment
Asad Shafiq, the new man in, is watchful in the middle as Azhar Ali continues to score the runs for Pakistan. 226/1, with a minimum of 17 overs left
WICKET! First breakthrough for West Indies in the 68th over. Chase bowls one much slower through the air, Sami Aslam goes for the sweep but fails to make good connection. The ball trickles to the stumps and the opener falls ten short of maiden Test ton. Pakistan 215/1
In their 400th Test, Pakistan reach 200 (203*) without losing a wicket. Ali 104*, Sami Aslam 90*
HUNDRED! Azhar Ali gets to three-figure mark for the 11th time in Tests, the first against the West Indies. He takes the helmet off, acknowledges the applause and then kneel downs to kiss the ground. Top hand by the opener. The long day/night for the West Indies bowlers continues
Ali guides one to the vacant third-man region, adds four more runs to move into the 90s. Top knock by the right-hander so far. Pakistan 176/0 in the 57th over
And, Bishoo starts with some turn – something which we haven’t seen throughout the day/night so far
Pakistan openers walk out for the final session of play. West Indies to start with Bishoo’s leg-spin. 172/0 after 55 overs
And, that’s Dinner! Pakistan dominate the second session too. 172/0. Aslam 75*, Azhar Ali 89*. This is a brilliant start to the Test by Pakistan. Misbah, after winning the toss and electing to bat, couldn’t have asked for anything better
Pakistan dominance continues. Both openers are nearing tons now, and the stand is worth a brilliant 168* – the highest at this ground
West Indies have tried as many as six bowlers but are yet to taste success. Gabriel has come close but still no additions to the wickets column. Pakistan 148/0 after 48 overs
West Indies continue to shuffle their bowlers but they need to find some inspiration, from somewhere. Nothing happening for them so far. They have tried spin, pace, mix of both but Pakistan openers continue to score runs with ease. 137/0
115 balls, five boundaries and that’s FIFTY for Azhar Ali, his 21st in the format. Pakistan move to 111/0 in the 39th over. The dressing room wears a relaxed look as the openers continue to do the job
Sami Aslam gets a boundary, brings up his FIFTY and 100-run stand with Azhar Ali. This is their second 100+ opening stand in the seven innings they have batted together
West Indies operate with spin-pace at the moment. No success so far for the visitors as Pakistan inch closer to 100-run opening stand
Pakistan openers are out in the middle for the second session of play. West Indies in desperate need of a wicket as both Aslam and Ali are building a solid stand
Tea has been taken on Day 1 of the first day-night Test in Asia. Pakistan head back to the hut with the scoreboard reading 81/0. Aslam 37*, Ali 38*
With no success in the morning session so far, West Indies would pin their hopes on leggie Devendra Bishoo. Aslam is batting on 32 while Azhar is unbeaten on 33, off 74 balls. Pakistan 71/0 in the 25th over of the innings
The opening stand between Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali is worth 50 now. Both are looking solid and not doing anything silly in the middle
Spin for the first time in the Test with pink ball. Kraigg Brathwaite to bowl to Azhar Ali with Pakistan at 39/0 after 14 overs
Pakistan are 39 without any loss of wicket after 13 overs. The sun in Dubai has set and the lights are on. Will it swing for the pacers now? Will the batsmen find it difficult to spot the ball?
Ten overs gone in Dubai and Pakistan are 25/0 with openers Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam solid in the middle. Flat track with no movement in the ball for the bowlers
Nothing much in the pitch for the bowlers. It hasn’t swung much but the West Indies bowlers have bowled more on the shorter side. Pakistan are 15/0 after six overs in Dubai
Three overs gone and Pakistan have begun slowly in Dubai. They are 4/0 and Cummins and Gabriel troubled them slightly. The ball is moving a bit in the air
Pakistan are opening with Azhar Ali, who has batted at number three for quite a new times, and Sami Aslam. Gabriel will open the bowling for West Indies
WEST INDIES PLAYING XI
Kraigg Brathwaite, Leon Johnson, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Jake Blackwood, RL Chase, S Dowrich, Jason Holder*, Devendra Bishoo,M Cummins, Shanon Gabriel
PAKISTAN PLAYING XI
Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Misbah-ul-Haq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz ,Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan
TOSS: WON BY PAKISTAN; DECISION: BAT FIRST
Misbah wins the toss in Pakistan’s 400th Test and has no hesitation in batting first. He feels the pitch will get slower and it will turn. “We have to forget it is a pink ball and just watch and play,” he says
Dry pitch in Dubai. Great for batting but we have to see how things go under lights. Remember this is a day-night Test and the bowlers will have their task cut out
Younis Khan will be unavailable for selection as he is suffering from dengue and has flown back home. Misbah-ul-Haq and his men will surely miss his services
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan
West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Leon Johnson, Alzarri Joseph, Marlon Samuels, Jomel Warrican
Welcome to the coverage of first Test between Pakistan and West Indies in Dubai. Pakistan have been dominating West Indies in this series. They blanked them in ODI series, blanked them in T20 series and now have a chance to sweep the Test series
In-form Pakistan are ready to launch a pink-ball spin assault on struggling West Indies when they do battle in Asia’s first day-night Test from Thursday in Dubai. Pakistan have been on a roll since their 2-2 series draw in England in August, which briefly lifted them to number one position in world cricket’s Test rankings for the first time.
Arch-rivals India relegated Pakistan to number two with recent victory over New Zealand but Misbah-ul-Haq’s men have a prime opportunity to close the gap in the three-match series against the West Indies and are strong favourites. Pakistan captain Misbah said he was relishing the prospect of a day-night Test, where play will be from 3:30 pm to 10:30 pm (1130 GMT to 1830 GMT) with two breaks of 30 minutes, in what is nominally a “home” series for Pakistan.
“It’s exciting because I think the future belongs to day-night Tests,” said Misbah, whose team will be missing senior batsman Younis Khan, recovering from dengue fever.
Pakistan have included in-form batsman Babar Azam, 21, for his first Test after he racked up 360 runs during the one-day series against the West Indies. But misfiring openers Mohammad Hafeez and Shan Masood have been axed from the squad which levelled the four match Test series against England.
The West Indies, routed by Pakistan 3-0 in both Twenty20 and one-day series preceeding the Tests, come in as clear underdogs. Coach Phil Simmons, who guided them to the World Twenty20 title in April this year, was sacked prior to this tour after the team lost 2-0 to India in a four-match series in August. But captain Jason Holder said the West Indies — down in eighth in the Test rankings — are ready to bounce back. “We have some new faces in Tests so we will do our best,” said Holder.
Experts, however, see Pakistan’s spin duo of Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar proving too much for the spin-wary West Indian batsmen, especially in the unfamiliar day-night format with the pink ball and under lights.
Australia staged the inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last November — the first in Test cricket’s 140-year history. The innovation has been brought in to address the dwindling crowds in Test cricket — floodlit matches encourage those at work during the day to attend — and has met with initial success. The Adelaide Test attracted 123,000 spectators and an average television audience of two million. But players from both sides complained about the pink ball’s movement and durability, as well as the difficulty batsmen faced seeing it under lights.
Pakistan have accumulated more experience than the West Indies under lights, adopting the coloured ball concept six years ago for the final of their domestic premier first-class tournament. Pakistan have more than one reason to do well in Dubai — as well as grabbing a slice of Test history the match is their 400th Test since playing their first in India in 1952. A win will not only cap a historic occasion but will also give Pakistan momentum for their pink-ball Tests in Australia in December.
The remaining two Tests against West Indies will be in Abu Dhabi (October 21-25) and Sharjah (October 30 November 3).