Pakistan and the West Indies meet in the second Test of their three match series at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, starting on Friday.
After Pakistan’s 56-run victory in the first Test that was played with a pink ball under the lights in Dubai, the second Test will be played under traditional conditions.
The Sheikh Zayed Stadium is traditionally a bit pacier than the strip in Dubai, but from day three onwards favours the spin bowlers, which will make a Pakistan victory the most likely outcome. A result that would give them an unassailable lead in the series.
The tourists who had already suffered 0-3 defeats in the T20I and ODI series, put up some stout resistance in the first Test, and there were times when they even threatened to upset the formbook and claim a surprise victory.
After Pakistan posted an imposing 579-3 declared in their first innings, with Azhar Ali contributing a stunning triple century, a comfortable “home” win looked on the cards.
However, the visitors set about the task of resistance with some relish. Their first innings lasted for over 123 overs, as they edged their way to 357 all out. Yasir Shah collecting another 5-wicket haul, suggesting that he will have a crucial role to play in the second Test, on an even more helpful strip.
However, it was the events of day four that will give the tourists real heart, and some hope that they can level the series in Dubai, As Devendra Bishoo took 8-49, as the Pakistan side was dismissed for a mere 123. The West Indies finishing the day on 95-2, setting up a thrilling last day’s play.
Darren Bravo eventually batted for just short of seven hours in scoring 116, but his dismissal with the score on 263-6, lead to a rapid decline in the innings, as the West Indies slipped to 289 all out, with 12 overs of the final day’s play remaining.