Shannon Gabriel powered West Indies to a comfortable 106 run win after bowling out the visitors for 81 on day 5 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown. The broad-chested West Indian fast bowler ran through the Pakistani line-up to finish with 5/11 while Alzarri Joseph and Jason Holder played the perfect supporting role.
Pakistan, needing 188 for victory, started off slowly but never got going as Gabriel and Joseph rocked their chase with the wickets of Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq all coming in the space of 10 overs. Gabriel took out three of them while Holder and Joseph shared one apiece.
The chase never got going post that as Pakistan crumbled to a lowly 81. The fact that it could have been even lower if not for some dropped catches in the slip cordon makes things worse for the visitors.
Brief Scores: West Indies 312/10 and 268/10 beat Pakistan 393 & 81 all out (Gabriel 5/11)
Take a look at the talking points from the Test match.
#5 Misbah and the story of 99s
Misbah-ul-Haq is probably the most respected Pakistani middle order batsman. With a penchant for playing when it matters, the Pakistani skipper can shift through the gears with unimaginable ease. However, despite all these qualities, the skipper hasn't been able to score that one elusive run to take him to a hundred in this series.
Here at Kensington Oval, Misbah hoped to complete a hundred but fate had other ideas. Jason Holder stood between him and a hundred as a ball reared up to catch his gloves on its way to the slip fielder. He had given it away yet again. A second 99 in a series was unheard of. But Misbah managed it twice in succession on his final Test tour.
#4 Amir-Abbas pair one to persist with
Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Abbas had rocked the West Indian top order in the opening Tests at Kingston and continued that trend here at Bridgetown. The two bowlers are quite different when it comes to their manner of attack but complement each other ever so well.
While Amir has ensured a wicket early in the day almost every single time, Abbas has equalled him by following up with another one soon enough. The latter has moved the ball either ways and has had the better of quite a few of the top order batsmen. The pair in tandem could be a huge weapon for Pakistan in Tests in the future.
#3 Roston Chase, the crisis man
Roston Chase is often known in the Barbados cricketing circles as the Crisis man as he revealed in a chat with Cricbuzz. The West Indian all-rounder has indeed donned that role for his team and with some decent success. With the hosts staring down the barrel at 154/6, he put up a vital 132 run stand with his skipper, Jason Holder to take Windies to a decent first innings total.
And that partnership made a world of difference even though Pakistan later went on to take an 81 run lead. The Barbados all-rounder is a decent spinner as well and could complement Bishoo perfectly making him an important cog in the West Indian Test wheel.
#2 Pakistan middle-order a worry
Pakistan may have a sound batting line-up right now but with Younis Khan and Misbah going into retirement, the side loses two towering batsmen in their middle-order. The likes of Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed haven't quite lived up to their reputation yet. They have Asad Shafiq, who can be considered a strong contender to push up the order but the shoes he has to fill are huge.
Babar Azam is possibly the future at number three but they need someone solid at four and Shafiq could be the answer. With no sign of Fawad Alam coming back, the number five slot is vacant – at least for now and it is time Pakistan bring in somebody to replace Misbah in that position.
The lower middle-order comprising of Sarfraz Ahmed and possibly, Imad Wasim or Mohammad Nawaz in the future also needs to improve their batting skills in Tests for Pakistan to have a solid batting line-up.
#1 West Indian pace bowling trio impress
Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph make an awkward pace bowling attack but one that works perfectly well for the West Indies. Gabriel has the kind of skiddy pace that batsmen find difficult to face on any sort of pitch while Joseph can swing, seam and procure bounce with the new ball. Jason Holder is the leader of the team and this attack with his control and uncomfortable bounce he generates.
The three have operated within their limitations to perfection and this has helped West Indies immensely. They did not even require Devendra Bishoo on a fifth-day wicket to clean up the Pakistani batting line-up as Gabriel and co. ran havoc with a sensational display of seam bowling. There is no doubting that the hosts have found the right men to lead their pace attack in Tests.