Batting Meltdown Leaves Windies With Heavy Loss

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Timid West Indies failed to survive the anticipated final day onslaught from Pakistan and slumped to a seven-wicket defeat in the opening Test at Sabina Park on Tuesday.
Resuming their second innings on 93 for four, the hosts’ suspect batting once again stayed true to form, collapsing for 152 all out, 37 minutes before the scheduled lunch interval.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah added two wickets to his overnight tally to finish with six for 63 while debutant seamer Mohammad Abbas ended with two for 35.
Roston Chase, batting at number seven, was left stranded on 16 as his teammates failed to show the required judgement on a decent track that offered precious few devils.
Set 32 for victory, Pakistan were untidy and made heavy weather of the target before finally crossing the line 20 minutes after lunch, when captain Misbah-ul-Haq launched ineffective leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo for consecutive sixes.
Both openers perished in the six overs possible before the break, with Ahmed Shezad nicking fast bowler Shannon Gabriel to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich in the third over for six and Azhar Ali playing on to pacer Alzarri Joseph in the following over for one.
On 13 for two at lunch, the visitors lost veteran right-hander Younis Khan in the fifth over following the resumption when he missed a full-length delivery from Bishoo and was plumb lbw for six, with the score on 24.
By then, however, Misbah had had enough of his batsmen’s dithering. He smashed the second ball he faced from Bishoo back overhead for six and then cleared the ropes at mid-wicket off the very next delivery, to ensure victory.
For Pakistan, the success ended a run of six straight defeats while the result left West Indies with their 11th loss in their last 15 outings.
Entering the final day still 28 runs behind and facing the daunting prospect of surviving against the guile of Yasir, the Caribbean side required nothing short of a miracle but no such interventions materialised.
Debutant left-hander Vishal Singh and night watchman Bishoo, both yet to score at the start, saw West Indies through the first seven overs of the day and extended their stand to 21 before the first breakthrough came.
Vishal had just punched the previous delivery from left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir to the cover point boundary when he shouldered arms to the next ball and saw his stumps shattered for nine.
Bishoo (18), meanwhile, played and missed several times before losing his discipline, slashing at one from Abbas and edging to Younis at second slip.
And two balls later with no addition to the score, Dowrich missed one that came back from Abbas and was lbw, leaving West Indies tottering on 129 for seven – only eight runs ahead.
Captain Jason Holder played positively on arrival, stroking three fours in 14 as he temporarily raised hopes of a revival in a 22-run stand with Chase. But he perished to a loose stroke, wafting at a wide one from seamer Wahab Riaz and edging a catch behind.
Yasir fittingly performed the final rites, trapping Joseph lbw for one off the first ball of the next over to pick up his ninth five-wicket haul in Tests, before having last man Shannon Gabriel caught at mid-off, skying an attempted big hit.
The two teams will travel to Barbados for the second Test starting at Kensington Oval on Sunday.

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