West Indies restrict Pakistan to 123-5 at tea in rain-hit first TestThursday, August 12, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AFP) — Three more wickets in an extended afternoon session kept the West Indies just holding the initiative with Pakistan at 123 for five at tea after they were put in to bat on the opening day of the first Test of the two-match series at Sabina Park on Thursday.
Fast bowlers Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales added to their morning success while Jason Holder's perseverance paid off with his first wicket in a bizarre passage of play where it seemed everything was going the way of the visitors, and especially Azhar Ali.
Twice the former captain was reprieved by reviewing the on-field umpire's decision against him and two more times the West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, was unsuccessful in having not out decisions overturned via the available television technology.
Holder was the unfortunate bowler on the first three occasions while Kyle Mayers was the other man left particularly aggrieved.
Ironically, it was Holder who then held a good low catch at second slip to dismiss Azhar for 17 off Seales.
It ended a tortuous 47-run stand with Babar Azam, the Pakistan captain falling soon after via an inside edge to Roach which was well held by wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva.
Mohammad Rizwan offered the first real positive play of a rain-shortened day, stroking five boundaries in 23 before Holder got the deserved wicket when the wicketkeeper-batsman chipped a full delivery to Roston Chase at square-leg.
Fawad Alam and Faheem Ashraf will carry the Pakistan effort into the day's final session.
Earlier, opening batsmen Imran Butt and Abid Ali negotiated the first half-hour of play in putting on 21 runs without too many alarms before Roach bowled Butt through the gate.
Seales, who made his Test debut in the previous series against South Africa in St Lucia two months earlier, then disposed of Ali without any addition to the score via a catch to da Silva.
Rain then cut 40 minutes from the pre-lunch period, necessitating the longer afternoon session.
Mindful of pitch conditions which are expected to favour spinners later in the match, the West Indies opted for left-arm orthodox slow bowler Jomel Warrican over established off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall in their final eleven.
Nkrumah Bonner also returned to the team in place of Shai Hope in the middle order after he suffered a concussion and was ruled out of the remainder of the South Africa series after being struck on the helmet on the first morning of the first Test by a bouncer from fast bowler Anrich Nortje.
Pakistan's line-up showed no surprises as experienced leg-spinner Yasir Shah reclaimed his spot in the final eleven after missing the campaign against Zimbabwe in Harare in which the visitors thrashed the hosts by an innings in both matches.
Mohammad Abbas is also back in the team to bolster a seam attack which also includes Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali.