Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales held their nerves to script a one-wicket victory against Pakistan in the first Test at Sabin Park stadium. West Indies would be thrilled to secure a win from a position of defeat.
In the first innings, West Indies did well to bundle out Pakistan for 217 runs. Babar Azam led the way with the bat, scoring 55 off 160. Kraig Brathwaite was outstanding for his 97 off 221 balls as West Indies posted 253 in the second innings. A sensational five-wicket haul from Jayden Seales denied Pakistan to score a big score in the third innings as they were bundled out for 203 runs, setting a target of 168 for West Indies to win the game.
Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali combined to pick 7 wickets to dent West Indies’ hopes of winning the game on the fourth day. Their last recognizable batsman, Joshua Da Silva got out in the 50th over with 142 on the board. With 2 wickets in hand, West Indies required 26 runs and Pakistan perhaps had the upper hand. However, a resilient 30 off 52 from Kemar Roach and decent cameos from Jomel Warrican and Jayden Sealed helped West Indies reach home in the end.
West Indies vs Pakistan 2021, 2nd Test- Match Preview
West Indies would be thrilled to have won the first Test and take 1-0 lead in the series. They would certainly be now aiming for a win in the next game and thereby take the series. Having said that, their batsmen have found it tough to tackle the brilliant seam attack of Pakistan. Skipper, K Brathwaite was brilliant in the first innings for his 97, but the other two at the top of the order, namely K Powell and N Bonner ought to be step up to the plate.
Jermaine Blackwood and Roston Chase produced a match-winning 68-run partnership after the top-order collapse in the fourth innings. The duo is pivotal to the West Indies batting line-up and will be key to West Indies’ fortune in the next game.
There shouldn’t be any complaints with regards to their bowling attack. Kemar Roach, Jason Holder, and Jayden Seales exhibited a brilliant show in favourable conditions. Seales became the youngest West Indies cricketer to have taken a five-wicket haul in Test cricket after he picked a five-for in Pakistan’s second innings. Holder and Roach picked 4 and 5 wickets respectively in the match.
Kraigg Brathwaite (C), Jermaine Blackwood (VC), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Jomel Warrican.
Pakistan, on the other hand, would be gutted to have lost the first Test. They were brilliant with the ball throughout the game. M Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, and Hasan Ali have formed a brilliant trio. They are likely to pursue in the next game as well. Yasir Shah wasn’t required much in the game and thus Pakistan would be tempted to play Naseem Shah ahead of Afridi in the second Test.
Babar Azam scored 30 and 55 in the first and second innings but the other players were guilty of throwing their wickets away after getting decent starts. The batsmen have shown promise but they ought to convert them into big scores. After failing in the first innings, Abid Ali showed his class in the second innings with a 34-run knock. He will be the guy to watch out for. His runs at the top of the order would keep the team in good stead. M Rizwan scored 23 and 30 in the two innings. He too would be disappointed to not have converted the starts into big ones.
The main concern, however, lies in their fielding. The dropped catches in the final session of the match perhaps had cost them the game. Had they latched onto the catches, Pakistan would have reached home comfortably in the first Test.
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah (subject to fitness), Zahid Mahmood.