Pakistan Misbah-ul-Haq (L) and Taufeeq Umar and during day three of the second test between the West Indies and Pakistan at the Warner Park ground in the St Kitts capital of Basseterre. (AFP)
West Indies were left staring defeat in the face after centuries for Taufeeq Umar and Misbah-ul-Haq put Pakistan in control at Basseterre. The pair guided their side to a declaration at 377 for six and the Windies were then reduced to 130 for five by the close, still 296 runs adrift, despite Darren Bravo’s half-century.
Pakistan resumed Day Four on 202 for three, 241 ahead, with opener Taufeeq three runs short of his century having yesterday been dropped on one by Bravo.
It took him until the seventh over of the morning to get there with a single off Ravi Rampaul, having earlier survived all sorts of confusion as he and Misbah-ul-Haq ran the single that took him to 99. By that point, Misbah had found his feet and hit three successive boundaries off Darren Sammy, twice walking across his stumps to flick through mid-wicket before standing his ground and taking advantage of Sammy’s shift in line to work the ball through the slips.
Taufeeq hit two fours off Devendra Bishoo but was looking surprisingly uncertain, in contrast to Misbah.
A typically watchful innings from the veteran was studded with a handful of boundaries, with two swept fours off Bishoo before a single to bring up a 95-ball half-century. Bishoo was coming in for some punishment at times, with a Misbah six over long-on followed two balls later by four for Taufeeq.
The opener was then run out by Sammy for 135 but Misbah pressed on, twice hitting Bishoo for four before new man Umar Akmal followed suit via the outside edge. Misbah was 85 not out at tea but had to play second fiddle early in the evening session as Umar hit sixes in successive overs from Bisho and Rampaul to bring up the 50 partnership.
Bishoo gained a measure of revenge, finding some big turn to beat Umar’s bat and clip the top of off stump, sending him back for 30.
Mohammed Salman came and went, but not before top-edging Rampaul for six, before Misbah finished the innings with a boundary to bring up his century and the declaration.
hosts, then, were left to chase a notional 427 or bat out more than four sessions for a draw.
They made a dismal start as debutant opener Kraigg Brathwaite fell for a duck, cleaned up by a big inswinger from Tanvir Ahmed.
Lendl Simmons and Bravo were left to rebuild, and the former swiftly whipped Wahab Riaz for four.
Bravo was just five not out from 24 balls but more than doubled that total from his 25th, launching an overpitched delivery from Abdur Rehman beyond the mid-off rope. Another maximum followed in Rehman’s next over and the Windies were 54 for one at tea, with Bravo on 23 having overtaken Simmons (21).
The latter added only three to his tally despite being spared when Salman missed a stumping chance off Mohammad Hafeez in the second over after the interval.
Hafeez turned catcher when Simmons did fall in the next over, clinging on at the second attempt after Simmons cut Rehman to second slip.
Ramnaresh Sarwan followed for a duck, given lbw to Rehman after Billy Bowden’s intial not-out decision was overturned by third umpire Tony Hill following a DRS referral.
Bravo was the only batsman looking assured and crashed Saeed Ajmal for four off the back foot, but he appeared to have a let-off when he was adjudged not to have inside edged a ball which eluded Salman but was caught at slip.
Umar also put down a difficult chance diving forwards at point as Bravo pressed towards fifty, but he lost partner Marlon Samuels (six) when Salman claimed a sharp catch off Rehman’s bowling.
An edge for two off Rehman took Bravo into the forties before Brendon Nash cut Ajmal for four, but the spinner responded with back-to-back maidens to build the pressure.
Bravo broke the shackles with a boundary to move to within two of his half-century and Salman missed a second stumping chance off Hafeez when Nash failed to connect down the leg side.
Bravo’s patient fifty came up when he clipped his 139th delivery, bowled by Hafeez, to mid-on but he did not add to that total as he failed to overturn Wahab Riaz’s lbw appeal on referral, leaving his side 115 for five.
Nash (30no) and Carlton Baugh (7no) made it to the close but with Sammy the only remaining recognised batsman, the odds remain stacked against their side.
For More Updates, follow us on Facebook