By Neto Baptiste
Former West Indies captain and batsman Sir Viv Richards has heralded the match-winning efforts of veteran fast bowler Kemar Roach and the inexperienced Jayden Seales on Sunday’s final day of the team’s first Test against Pakistan in Jamaica.
Roach’s 30 not out off 52 balls guided West Indies to an unforgettable one-wicket win over Pakistan in a gripping first Test in Kingston. Seales made just two runs off 13 deliveries but managed to hold on with Roach as West Indies reached 168 for nine to win by one wicket.
“The young 19-year-old Seales was great in terms of the experience that you gain from situations like this where you are asked to pulled through as the last wicket. Whenever the bat is in your hand you have to forget about the ball now because we are looking to win a match and every run is crucial so the young guy did well. Roach obviously showed his experience and helped the young man along so it was a great win even though the scores were not anything to write home about. In the situation we were in, they handled it reasonably well towards the end and won the match and that is what counts,” he said.
Pakistan posted 217 in 70.3 overs in the first innings and then 203 in 83.4 overs in their second innings. West Indies had scores of 253 in their first innings and 168 for nine.
Sir Viv, the only living National Hero here in Antigua, said he was somewhat disappointed with the scores in the match.
“What I am a little surprised with and most of the Test matches that we would have seen so far in the region is the low-scoring factor because these are like T20 scores and it’s a Test match so I am not quite sure what’s happening. There are some who allege that the wickets haven’t been quite suitable for the standards but the scores have been very meager just to say,” he said.
In the thrilling chase, the hosts were set 168 to win after Pakistan’s final five wickets fell for 31 runs on Sunday, with teenage paceman Seales claiming five for 55 in his second Test outing.
But the Windies stumbled to lunch on 38 for three with Shaheen Afridi who snatched four for 50 having ripped out skipper Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell and Nkrumah Bonner for single-figure scores.
Roston Chase (22) and Jermaine Blackwood (55) launched a rebuilding job that threatened to turn into a match-winning partnership before Chase edged a full delivery from Faheem Ashraf to Imran Butt at second slip.
Blackwood played with typical intent and struck 10 fours but played loosely at Hasan Ali, with Butt again the beneficiary. Kyle Mayers came and went without scoring and West Indies were staring down the barrel at 114 for seven when Hasan bowled Jason Holder for 16.