Tuesday 16 July, 2019

Windies blow Pakistan away to level series

West Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel celebrates a wicket during the final day of the second Test against Pakistan in Barbados on Thursday. West Indies won by 106 runs to level the series.

West Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel celebrates a wicket during the final day of the second Test against Pakistan in Barbados on Thursday. West Indies won by 106 runs to level the series.

Shannon Gabriel played a starring role as West Indies' seam attack dramatically skittled Pakistan for 81 to claim a series-levelling victory in the second Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday.

Pakistan appeared likely to open up an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series when they limited the Windies to 268 all out to leave a fourth-innings target of 188.

However, the hosts' pacemen sensationally exploited a pitch offering variation in bounce, initially reducing Pakistan to 36 for seven and sealing victory by 106 runs after a brief fightback from Sarfraz Ahmed (23) and Mohammad Amir (20).

The pacy Gabriel finished with stunning figures of five for 11 from 11 overs, while fellow quicks Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph also impressed en route to three for 23 and two for 42 respectively.

The hosts began the day on 264 for nine and added just four to that total before Yasir Shah had Devendra Bishoo (20) caught at mid-off to finish with seven for 94.

 

Pakistan made it through the first six overs of their chase without undue alarm, but things soon unravelled in spectacular fashion.

Wickets in successive overs started the collapse, Azhar Ali pulling Gabriel to midwicket before Joseph had Babar Azam caught down the leg side for a two-ball duck.

Ahmed Shehzad was reprieved on six when Kieran Powell spilled a simple chance at second slip off Joseph, yet the wickets kept on coming, Holder pinning Younis Khan lbw with one that jagged back alarmingly.

Misbah-ul-Haq - so often the man for a crisis - soon followed without scoring. The Windies thought they had Pakistan's captain lbw, but a review revealed an inside edge and Misbah was instead given out caught at gully after the ball looped off his pad into the hands of Shai Hope.

That was Gabriel's second wicket and he claimed a third in the morning session when Asad Shafiq edged a wonderful delivery behind to register the third duck of the innings.

Shehzad then fell lbw to a Joseph ball that kept low in the second over after lunch and Shadab Khan was caught behind off Holder as Pakistan's woes continued.

Their record-low total in Tests of 49 all out appeared in danger before Sarfraz and Amir counter-attacked effectively in a stand of 42, albeit while enjoying a fair share of fortune.

It was Gabriel who ended the resistance, ousting Amir and Yasir in quick succession to complete his five-for before Sarfraz holed out off Holder to spark jubilant home celebrations.

The deciding third Test starts on Wednesday.

Pakistan are seeking their first Test-series win in the Caribbean.

Final scores in the match: West Indies 312 & 268; Pakistan 393 & 81.

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