Babar Azam is playing the captain’s innings to keep Test hopes alive.


KINGSTON: Babar Azam’s unbeaten half-century kept alive his hopes of setting a competitive target for the West Indies and in the final innings of the match, Pakistan scored 160 for five in their second innings at the end of a rain-affected third day. ۔ First Test at Sabina Park on Saturday

After trailing by 36 runs in the first innings, the Tourists will start four days ahead with Azam at 124 with 54 and Fahim Ashraf at 12, the pair scoring 39 for the sixth wicket.

The Pakistan captain imitated the caution and determination of his opponent Craig Braithwaite a day earlier.

He limited his normally flowing stroke play to a minimum of about four hours on the crease, in which he faced 139 balls and hit seven fours.

Ashraf was equally on the lookout but the West Indies were only blamed for being on the crease as Jermaine Blackwood got a direct chance on the third slip at Kyle Myers’ medium pace.

He was in the middle after the death of Mohammad Rizwan when he took a five-wicket haul at 121 at the start of the extended last session after playing with a shower break in the afternoon.

Azam and Rizwan added 56 runs for the fifth wicket

Although these concerns were allayed, it seemed a clear possibility when he came to 65 for just four runs after lunch as the West Indies’ opening bowlers took a fresh start against a dubious batting line-up.

– ‘Patient as much as possible’ –

Yet as the dark afternoon dawned on his Independence Day, Shaheen Shah Afridi took the last two wickets of West Indies’ first two innings to take home 253 runs.

However, this satisfaction was immediately tarnished by Kemar Roach, who left the visitors in a bit of trouble with a wicket in his two spells before lunch.

Once again, showing the value of his experience and accuracy, Barbadian trapped Imran Butt before the leg without scoring a goal.

After a fast-paced 55-run promise between second opener Abid Ali and former captain Azhar Ali, Roach prepared a quick off-cutter for Azhar who cut the right-handed league stump as he stretched too far to the crease. Gone.

Although the reaction to Azhar’s dismissal showed that the ball was kept lower than expected, it was only a reward for the steadfast Roach who had previously seen Jason Holder’s generally safe pair of hands. Who used to throw regulation catches on the second slip of the same batsman. .

Holder made up for this astonishing omission when he took the first wicket of the innings through Abid Ali’s side cut to the right of the tall all-rounder on the second all-over.

The West Indies camp was even happier after three balls when top-scorer Fawad Alam of the first innings delivered another sale before scoring wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva.

At this stage, Pakistan had lost three wickets for nine runs on both sides of the lunch break and were in dire need of stability, which was provided by Babar along with Rizwan and then Ashraf.

“I’ve definitely enjoyed bowling at this level. It’s about being as patient as possible and doing what we did in the first innings when we got those wickets,” Sales said.

“Targeting anywhere in the 170-200 area should give us a good chance.”

Pakistan will definitely consider themselves the best chance of winning if their captain and the rest of the lower order players take the overall lead closer to the 200-run mark as they continue to test technique and flexibility. All batsmen

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