Windies President's XI dominate Pakistan in drawn game

Monday, April 17, 2017

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TRELAWNY, Jamaica — Opener Kieran Powell celebrated his recall to the West Indies Test team with a fluent unbeaten 84 and wrist spinner Damion Jacobs grabbed four wickets as the three-day game between the West Indies President’s Eleven and Pakistan ended in a tame draw here Monday.

It was a highly satisfying performance by the unofficial West Indies second string, which dominated the vaunted Pakistanis over all three days. The President’s Eleven actually had the option of enforcing the follow-on when the visitors' innings was declared closed at 192-9, still 227 runs behind the home team’s first innings of 419. Hasan Ali was not called on to bat because of a groin injury.

That the President’s Eleven chose to bat a second time rather than enforce the follow-on meant an inevitable draw, while also ensuring the tourists toiled some more in the field, ahead of the first Test against the West Indies at Sabina Park starting Friday.

Scores: WI President’s Eleven 419 and 110-2; Pakistan 192-9 declared.

Resuming on the last day at 129-4, Pakistan lost three wickets in the first six overs and never recovered. Pacer Kemar Roach (2-72), bowling a disciplined off-stump line at high pace found Asad Shafiq’s outside edge for wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton to take the straightforward catch.

Jacobs (4-46) who mixed his leg breaks, googlies and straighter deliveries with excellent control struck next, having the entrenched Ahmed Shehzad (55) smartly taken at slip by Rahkeem Cornwall as the right-hand batsman laid back to cut.

Roach’s lifter was fended off the body by Mohammad Amir (0) for Shamarh Brooks at gully to take the lobbed catch and Pakistan were reeling at 132-7. It became 159-8 when Yasir Shah (8) was trapped LBW by Jacobs’s googly.

Sarfraz Ahmed (50) then counter attacked admirably with an array of innovative sweeps, cuts and drives while expertly shielding Mohammad Asghar from the strike. But when, having hit a six and six fours off 58 balls, Sarfraz played on to Jacobs, making room to cut, Pakistan were facing the humbling prospect of being asked to follow on, since the injured Hasan was not being asked to bat.

However, the home team had other ideas, allowing Powell who hit 11 fours in his 117-ball knock to entertain the highly appreciative crowd. Twenty-year-old Shimron Hetmyer who had also entertained with a first innings 97 also marked his call-up to the West Indies Test squad with a lively 22, while opener Kyle Hope made 23 and captain Brooks ended not out on 21.

Wrist spinner Yasir Shah who is expected to play a lead role for Pakistan in the upcoming series had another extended bowl taking 1-60 from 16 overs, for overall match figures of 3-189 from 53 overs. It may well be a concern for the visiting team that while Yasir extracted sharp turn with his leg spinners on the second day, he seemed largely ineffective otherwise. Left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar (1-41) was the other wicket-taker in the President’s  Eleven second innings.
Garfield Myers

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