After the first Test saw Pakistan and West Indies tussle it out with a pink ball in a day-night format, the second Test resumed its traditional nature of the red ball and day proceedings.
And as if nothing had changed, Pakistan maintained their stronghold in the series with the hosts remaining strong at 304/4 at close with play stopped early due to bad light. The pioneers of Pakistan’s great start were Younus Khan (127), Misbah-ul-Haq (90*) and Asad Shafiq (68) after the hosts were in a precarious position early on to be troubled at 42/2.
The onus now lies on the West Indies to chip in with some quick wickets early on on Saturday if they are to shift this game back in their favour.
Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur expects a strong response from the West Indies in the second Test in Abu Dhabi after the tourists came close to pulling off a remarkable comeback in Dubai. Pakistan were forced to ward off a challenge from Darren Bravo, whose pugnacious 116 gave the West Indies hopes of an upset before ultimately losing by 56 runs in the last hour on the fifth and final day. That gave Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, but Arthur urged his team not to lose their edge ahead of Friday’s second Test.
“I think West Indies will come down hard on us considering their exceptional fight in Dubai,” Arthur told AFP. “I am really impressed with their fight and Bravo was outstanding so we have to play exceptionally well next Test.”
Pakistan had amassed 579 for 3 declared in their first innings, with opener Azhar Ali smashing 302 not out, but were then dismantled by leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo whose 8-49 bundled them out for a mere 123 second time round. Arthur said Pakistan allowed the West Indies to claw their way back in the Test, just the second ever day-night Test played with a pink ball.
“I am disappointed with the batting in the second innings,” said Arthur. “We allowed West Indies to come back into the game but sometimes it’s good that you learn and make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
Arthur, formerly coach of his native South Africa and Australia, said he was satisfied with the progress of the team.
“I am confident that if we keep growing and keep learning then it’s good,” said Arthur, who replaced former Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis as coach in May this year. “We have won 10 games since the Cardiff match (ODI) and if you include the Test at The Oval that is in three different formats and that gives you confidence, and players are learning and that’s a real good feeling in the dressing room,” said Arthur.
Arthur said fast bowler Mohammad Amir — who returned to international cricket in January after a five-year ban for spot-fixing — has a role to play in all formats.
“His return has been steady and I think he is getting better and better. His pace was up and I am comfortable that he is going to play a massive role going forward,” Arthur said of Amir, who took 3-63 in the second innings in Dubai.
Arthur also said Pakistan are improving their fitness, an area regarded as the weakest at international level. “I am really happy with the fitness of the players,” said Arthur. “We still have a lot of work to do and that’s good.”
The coach added that selection headaches, with a number of players waiting on the sidelines, could serve the team well. “It’s excellent for any team that you have a good bench strength. We want competition to be created within the team because it’s challenging the players and I don’t want comfort zones in the team, so we are heading in the right direction.”
The third and final Test will be played in Sharjah from October 30-November 3.
Hello and welcome to the coverage of second Test between Pakistan and West Indie from Abu Dhabi. West Indies will like to bounce back in this series after losing a close match in Dubai
Sun is out in Abu Dhabi but it is not very hot. Toss will be crucial for West Indies and if they win it, they can have a chance of spoiling Pakistan’s party
Pakistan have won the toss and elected to bat against West Indies. Misbah had no doubt about that. He continues his toss-winning spree. Can he continue the winning in UAE as well?
Pakistan have made three changes to the playing XI. Babar Azam makes way for Younis Khan. Two fast bowlers, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz are also rested. They are replaced by Rahat Ali and Zulfiqur Babar
Misbah during toss “The pink ball had uncertain swing. Team will be comfortable with the red ball”
He also says that the pitch is dry and will help spinners
West Indies playing XI
Kraigg Brathwaite, Leon Johnson, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Shai Hope, Jason Holder, Devedra Bishoo, M Cummins, Shannon Gabriel
Pakistan playing XI
Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Misbah-ul-Haq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Yasir Shah, Sohail Khan, Zulfiqur Babar, Rahat Ali
Pakistan openers Azhar Ali and Sami Aslan are walking out the middle. Shannon Gabriel with the new ball for West Indies
Four overs gone in Abu Dhabi! Pakistan openers cautious as West Indies pacers continue to bowl a line just outside off-stump
WICKET! Azhar Ali b Shannon Gabriel 0
West Indies have got an early wicket! The outside the off-stump line has worked. A bit fuller from Shannon Gabriel to draw Azhar Ali forward. He gets and inside edge, hits on the pad and hits the stumps
Shafiq Islam with two gorgeous shots to get two fours. Brilliant confident looking shots from the right-hander. Pakistan 16 for the loss of one wicket after six overs
Over number 10 done in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan are 35 for the loss of one wicket. Sami Aslam and Shafiq Islam at the crease
WICKET! Sami Aslam b Devendra Bishoo 6
Sharp turn for Bishoo. Pitches outside off and spins back into the left-hander a long way and through his bat and pad to hit the leg stump
50 up for Pakistan in the 17th over. Younis Khan and Shafiq at the crease for them. Bishoo is turning it big with assistance from the pitch
Pakistan reached 63 for the loss of two wickets after 20 overs. Younis and Shafiq easily defying the West Indies bowlers in Abu Dhabi. Slow, dry pitch with turn on it
FIFTY! Asad Shafiq gets his half-century! Brilliant innings avoiding the West Indies pacers in the first hour. Younis Khan congratulates him Pakistan 79 for the loss of two wickets after 25 overs
Lunch in Abu Dhabi! Pakistan can say they are slightly ahead at 95/2 because it will only ease from here. Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq the unbeaten batsmen for Pakistan
Play underway after lunch in Abu Dhabi. Younus Khan (29) and Asad Shafiq (55) in the middle with Pakistan sitting pretty at 97/2. Miguel Cummins has the ball
Younus Khan nudges the ball in front of midwicket to pick up a couple and take Pakistan over the 100-run mark.
PHEW! So close! Younus Khan with a moment of scare and then relief. Played with soft hands and the ball heads to the stumps but before it could topple the bails, the Pakistan batsman is quick to kick the ball away.
Shannon Gabriel offers Asad Shafiq width and the Pakistan batsman makes most of the gift. Played it late for a thick edge behind and it flies through gully for a four. No stopping that.
Asad Shafiq b Shannon Gabriel 68 (121)
GONE! Shannon Gabriel strikes as Asad Shafiq chops the ball on and West Indies have a wicket against the run of play. It was there to be slashed behind but instead of getting an outside cut, he gets an inside edge and Pakistan are 129/3
SIX!! Younus Khan with a slog-sweep for a six off the middle of the bat. Plenty of flight on offer by Bishoo but Younus gets underneath it to send it flying past the midwicket boundary for a six. Pakistan are 172/3
Dwayne Bravo with superb football skills to clip the ball up to his thighs and then bit of keep-uppy with his feet. Lovely stuff!
TEA! Pakistan go into Tea at 205/3 with a set partnership of Younus Khan at 84 and Misbah-ul-Haq on 35. West Indies have had it tough to make inroads into this Pakistan batting and that trend continues into the second Test of the series too.
Play underway in the final session of the opening day of the second Test. Younus Khan is inching towards a century on the comeback and he’s joined by the steady hand of Misbah.
In the race of ‘first to the milestone’, it looks like Misbah will win it. He strides forward and square drives an overpitched delivery to pick up a double. Gets to 49. Younus Khan is on 93.
And Misbah raises his bat to acknowledge the applause. Short delivery by Kraigg Brathwaite and pushed to deep point for an easy single. This has been rather comfortable.
An incredible statistic to Younus Khan’s name: He’s gone 31 straight hundreds now without getting out in the 90s.
HUNDRED!! Younus Khan goes on to the back foot and slashes hard at Roston Chase’s delivery outside off and the ball goes racing to the ropes and brings up the experienced batsman’s 100 from 170 balls. That’s his 33rd Test ton.
DROPPED! Hope drops Misbah and gives Pakistan a reprieve that West Indies should be taking if they are to stand any chance. The keeper moves to his left but the ball maintains its line and takes an outside edge which the keeper lets go off his hand. Gets inside the glove, only just, but spills out eventually. That’s life for Misbah at 54
REVIEW! Shannon Gabriel has Younus Khan caught leg before. The umpire says ‘not out’ but Holder goes for a review. After a long look, it is confirmed that the ball was pitching outside off, not hitting the stumps and not caught behind either. The decision stands.
We’re into the final ten overs of the day and Younus Khan is going strong at 124 with Misbah-ul-Haq on 82 and inching towards a ton
FOUR! Misbah goes on the backfoot after plenty of time and space to smack Bishoo for a boundary in the midwicket region and that brings up Pakistan’s 300.
Younus Khan c Roston Chase b Kraigg Brathwaite 127
GONE! Younus Khan tries to slog sweep it but can only find Roston Chase at the deep midwicket boundary. After a long stay in the middle, Younus departs to a poor choice of shot. Pakistan are 304/4
And that turns out to be the last ball of the play. The players walk off the middle with Pakistan on 304/4 and bad lights stops play early. No need for Yasir Shah, the night watchman, to face the West Indies attack tonight.