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First Test: West Indies beat Pakistan by 1 wicket

Kemar Roach and his teenage protege Jayden Seales combined in a dramatic 17-run partnership which carried the West Indies to a one-wicket win over Pakistan in the first cricket Test.

By: AP |
August 16, 2021 9:26:13 am
Zimbabwe vs West Indies, Kemar Roach, Kemar Roach wickets, Kemar Roach bowling, sports news, cricket, Indian ExpressKemar Roach said his unbeaten 30 was the most important innings of his 66-test career (Source: AP)

Veteran fast bowler Kemar Roach and his teenage protege Jayden Seales combined in a dramatic 17-run partnership Sunday which carried the West Indies to a one-wicket win over Pakistan in the first cricket Test.

Seales earlier took 5-55, his first five-wicket haul in Tests, as the West Indies dismissed Pakistan for 203 in its second innings, a lead of 167.

The home team then slumped to 16-3 before a half-century by Jermaine Blackwood helped it advance to 111-6.

The match was in the balance when Jason Holder was out to the last ball before the tea interval with the West Indies on 114-7, still 54 runs from victory.

In a thrilling final session in which each run and each wicket altered the balance of the match, Roach shared a partnership of 28 with Joshua Da Silva before finally combining with Seales to see the West Indies home on 168-9.

Roach said his unbeaten 30 was the most important innings of his 66-test career “by far, by far.”

He was full of praise for the batting and bowling efforts of the 19-year-old Seales, who became the youngest West Indies bowler to take a five-wicket haul in a test innings.

“He is a star for the future,” Roach said. “His five wickets speaks wonders about our cricket.”

Shaheen Afridi (4-50) and Hasan Ali (3-37) bowled almost 34 overs for Pakistan on the last day and shared seven wickets. Hasan produced an outstanding all-round performance, scoring 28 from 26 balls at No. 9 to help Pakistan go past 200 in the second innings before he was the last man out.

He then dismissed Blackwood for 55 to deal a major blow to the home team’s hopes and bowled Holder (16).

But Hasan was also involved in one of the pivotal moments of the match when he dropped Roach, then on 16, off the bowling of Shaheen. Roach’s pull shot carried directly to Hasan at deep square leg, where a relatively simple catch was put down.

Hasan still had a part to play by dismissing Jomel Warrican to leave the West Indies on 151-9, some 17 runs from victory and with only Roach and Seales remaining. Warrican tried to pull a short delivery and the ball flew from the top edge. Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan turned and dashed backward, almost to the boundary where he took a diving catch as the ball came over his shoulder.

Roach batted on with unbreakable determination to eke out every run. With six runs needed, he edged a ball between the wicketkeeper and first slip which just eluded Rizwan’s despairing dive.

He then confidently struck a ball from Shaheen, wide of off stump, through cover for the winning runs.

“It was a remarkable test,” West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said. “It is about patience. Who has more patience will come out on top.”

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said the “nail-biting” match showed the beauty of test cricket.

“We put in a good effort with the bat,” Azam said. “The bowlers then restricted them before our bowlers took the wickets.

“Again, in the second innings, we fought with the bat and the bowlers hit back. Had we taken those dropped catches, the result could have been different.”

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