Opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite hit a resilient unbeaten 95 and anchored West Indies to 244-6 on the second day of the third and final Test against Pakistan on Monday.
Brathwaite revived West Indies first innings from a precarious 38-3 by combining in two solid half century stands with Roston Chase (50) and Shane Dowrich (47).
West Indies trails by just 37 runs with Brathwaite batting resolutely after facing 206 balls, hitting 10 fours and captain Jason Holder not out on 6.
Besides Brathwaite’s batting, it was fast bowler Mohammad Amir’s best day in Test cricket since returning from a five-year spot-fixing ban.
Amir first played a 20-run cameo to stretch Pakistan total to 281 and then brought off a spectacular two-handed diving catch – his first in 20th Test – to remove Darren Bravo before grabbing the wickets of Jermaine Blackwood (23) and Chase.
Amir made a quiet return to Test cricket against England in August as Pakistan drew the Test series 2-2. He was then rested in the second Test against West Indies after taking three wickets in the first day-night Test at Dubai.
West Indies ran into early trouble when Wahab Riaz had Leon Johnson leg before wicket in his second over and then combined with Amir to shake the confidence of in-form Bravo.
Both left-arm seamers set up Bravo with a barrage of short pitched deliveries before the left-hander threw away his wicket.
Bravo tried to break the shackles and loft spinner Zulfiqar Babar over mid-off but sliced to Amir, who held on to a two-handed diving catch while running backwards from the covers.
Leg spinner Yasir Shah then had Marlon Samuels lbw without scoring to reduce West Indies to 38-3 before Amir had Blackwood caught at gully after the break to make it 68-4.
But Brathwaite led the West Indies fightback with two carbon-copy 83-run stands with Chase and Dowrich.
Chase raised his half century with a six over wide mid-on off Yasir Shah but two ball later Younis Khan grabbed a brilliant catch as Chase chased a wide Amir delivery.
Dowrich then featured in another 83-run stand with Brathwaite. He was caught off Riaz’s no-ball on 15 and then on 21 Younis juggled but couldn’t hold onto a sharp edge in the slip.
Riaz, who was twice warned by the umpires for running onto the danger area on the wicket, finally made amends when Dowrich dragged a wide ball from the left-arm seamer back onto his stumps just before close.
But Brathwaite stood firm and had his eyes set on his first century in the series.
For all the latest Sports News, download Indian Express App now