West Indies jumped from a precarious 154/6 to 286/6 at stumps on Day 1 at Bridgetown, courtesy a spectacular hundred from Roston Chase and his 132 run stand with skipper, Jason Holder. The hosts had won the toss and opted to bat on a slow surface, hoping to rack up some early runs.
Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Abbas put a rest to that with an incisive opening spell that included the wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite. At 37/3, West Indies looked well and truly out but Kieran Powell and Chase steadied the ship a bit. Amir returned to york Powell and Abbas had Vishaul Singh early to signal the death toll for the Windies.
But a back injury to Yasir Shah and listless bowling from the debutant Shadab Khan meant that Chase and Holder worked their way into the Pakistani attack. With a bowler almost down, the visitors failed to garner enough energy to break through with a wicket. The pair remained unbeaten on a stand of 132 that is quickly changing the game around.
Brief Scores: West Indies 286/6 (Chase 131, Holder 58, Abbas 2/47)
Here are the major talking points from the game.
#5 Amir-Abbas continue to impress as a pair
Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Abbas had proved their potential as an opening pair in Tests with some exceptional spells in Kingston. Two bowlers with rather different qualities, Amir and Abbas has made life difficult for the Windies top order so far.
While Amir had Brathwaite fishing outside the off-stump with some smart piece of bowling, Abbas did the same to Shimron Hetmyer, who had no clue to what was coming at him.
Even when West Indies looked like regaining a hold with a fourth wicket stand, it was Amir who returned to trap Powell in front. Abbas soon followed him with the wicket of Vishaul Singh.
#4 Yasir Shah's back injury hampers Pakistan's progress
A back injury to their premier leg-spinner pulled back Pakistan after they had the visitors on the mat. The veteran leggie had been brought into the attack early and immediately rewarded his skipper with the wicket of Shai Hope, who was opened up by Yasir's turn and bounce.
While Chase and Holder got going, it was evident that Yasir was struggling with his back. The niggle wasn't allowing him to bowl with his natural guile and this virtually made Pakistan's a three-man attack.
#3 Shadab Khan's modest debut and Pakistan's struggles
When Pakistan decided to field two leg-spinners for the second Test, it was evident that the pitch would take a lot of turn later. On such a slow pitch, Misbah turned to his main man, Yasir Shah, quite early. Shadab, who had an impressive T20 series failed to come to grips with Test cricket.
He was loose and tried too many things to gift away runs to the hosts. Chase and Holder milked the debutant while Misbah ran out of options on a hot afternoon. Yasir's back niggle made him a not so feasible option and Shadab was struggling with his lengths and lines.
#2 Jason Holder does the job yet again
More often than not, Jason Holder has been taking over batting duties for his country. The top order has time and again failed to put up enough runs on the board and the pressure has been on the lower middle order to rack up better totals.
Holder once again stood between Pakistan and the tail and cracked a fine half-century in the company of an ominous looking Roston Chase. The duo put on an unbeaten 132 for the seventh wicket that helped pull back the hosts into the game.
#1 Roston Chase smacks useful hundred
West Indies sorely needed at least one of their middle-order batsmen to deliver. All looked lost at 154/6 but Chase and Holder stood like glue to separate the Pakistanis from routing them for below 200.
Chase showed excellent judgement outside his off-stump and creamed the spinners more than once through the covers. The solid looking batsman garnered enough out of his skipper to test the Pakistan bowlers till stumps. He remained unbeaten on 131 at end of play on Day 1.