BARBADOS — A polished century by Roston Chase guided West Indies out of trouble and into a decent position on 286 for six against Pakistan on the first day of the second Test in Barbados on Sunday.
Chase, 131 at stumps, combined with captain Jason Holder for an unbeaten 132-run seventh-wicket stand at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.
An all-too-familiar top-order collapse brought Chase to the crease with the hosts reeling at 3-37 after Kraigg Brathwaite (9), Shimron Hetmyer (1) and Shai Hope (5) had all fallen cheaply for the third time in as many attempts in the series.
Chase, with help from opener Kieran Powell (38) and wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich (29), added some respectability to the score before Holder chimed in with 58 not out to leave the honors perhaps just about even.
West Indies had won the toss and decided to bat, naming an unchanged 11 from the first Test, while Pakistan gave a Test debut to teenage leg-spinner Shadab Khan.
He finished the day with 1-90 as the Pakistan bowlers shared the spoils, with pacemen Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Abbas taking two wickets apiece, while leg-spinner Yasir Shah chipped in with one.
However, the visitors perhaps rued playing only four specialist bowlers. Pakistan lead the three-Test series 1-0.
West Indies’ vulnerable top-order batting was again exploited by Pakistan. Despite a surface that offered very little assistance to the faster bowlers, the Caribbean team lost their first three wickets after just over an hour.
Amir was the first to strike for Pakistan against a batting line-up that was surprisingly unchanged from the seven-wicket defeat in Jamaica, the selectors resisting calls for to bring in middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood.
Kraigg Brathwaite enjoyed a moment of good fortune when he was dropped at short extra-cover off Amir. However the lapse did not prove costly for the visitors as Amir took the outside edge of the opener’s bat in the same over to give a straightforward catch to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
Shimron Hetmyer, one of two batting debutants from a week earlier, faced just three deliveries before driving loosely at the other opening bowler, Mohammad Abbas, for Azhar Ali to take a sharp catch head-high at second slip.
Shai Hope’s struggle for runs continued when he was caught at the wicket off Yasir Shah, the leg-spinner extracting sharp turn off the first-day pitch and appearing to justify Pakistan’s decision to give a debut to Shadab Khan as a second wrist-spinner in their bowling armory at the expense of their fastest bowler, Wahab Riaz. — Reuters