Bowlers give Windies full control
Basseterre, St Kitts – Fast bowler seamer Ravi Rampaul was impressive and took 3-40 as the West Indies reduced Pakistan to 180-6 on a rain-hit first day of the second Digicel Test at Warner Park on Friday.
Rampaul removed both openers cheaply to put West Indies in early control and, despite patient scores of 67 by Azhar Ali and 56 by Umar Akmal, the visitors failed to make the most of winning the toss on a good batting surface.
Rampaul had left-hander Taufeeq Umar caught behind by keeper Carlton Baugh rom a lifting delivery, had Mohammed Hafeez well taken at third slip by Lendl Simmons, and watched as Asad Shafiq cut a short ball straight to Devendra Bishoo at point.
There were rain interruptions in each session and West Indies, who lead Pakistan 1-0 in the two-match rubber, gained a late boost when they removed danger man Azhar shortly before bad light halted play for the day.
Azhar, who had shared with Umar in a fifth-wicket stand of 93, was run out three overs before the premature close after driving a full toss into the covers and setting off for a run.
His partner Mohammad Salman advanced a few steps down the pitch before returning to the crease and, with both batsmen then stranded at the non-striker’s end, Azhar walked off to the pavilion.
Right-hander Azhar, who struck seven boundaries off 196 balls, had earlier featured in a fourth-wicket partnership of 50 with Misbah-ul-Haq (25) as Pakistan fought back from a precarious 24-3.
Misbah was caught low down by Marlon Samuels at mid-on off Bishoo while Akmal flashed at a wide ball from Darren Sammy and was brilliantly caught by Rampaul on the third man boundary.
Pakistan have never won a series in the Caribbean in six previous visits and the best they can hope for this time is a drawn series.
A successful day for West Indies, who won the first Digicel Test in Guyana by 40 runs on Sunday, was memorable for teenager Kraigg Brathwaite who made his Test debut.
The 18-year-old schoolboy was watched by his father Arleigh as he became the fifth youngest West Indian to play a Test match.