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West Indies vs Pakistan 2017, 2nd Test: Day 3, 5 talking points

Misbah was stuck on 99 for the second successive time.
rohit sankar

Misbah-ul-Haq once again found himself one short of a hundred in his final Test series as Pakistan eased to 393 and a healthy lead of 81, half of which was erased by West Indies for the loss of a wicket by stumps on day 3.

Azhar Ali smashed yet another hundred but it was Misbah who stole the limelight. The veteran Pakistani skipper gloved a ball from Holder to the slip cordon on 99. It became the second time in his final series that he couldn't complete a hundred; in the first Test, he was stranded on 99 after he ran out of partners.

West Indies edged back into the game by running through the lower middle-order to reduce Pakistan to 329/7. However, Yasir Shah and the tail added some crucial runs to give the visitors an 81 run lead, sizeable given the state of the deteriorating pitch. West Indies were 40/1 in response at stumps.

Brief Scores: West Indies 312/10 & 40/1 (Hetmyer 22*), Pakistan 393/10 (Azhar Ali 105, Misbah 99, Gabriel 4/81)

Take a look through the talking points of the day.


#5 Misbah's misfortune with 99

Misbah-ul-Haq is one of the finest batsmen in the Pakistan middle-order. A strong fighter, the Pakistani skipper can switch between defence and attack in the blink of an eye. Having settled down with Azhar Ali quite slowly in the first session, Misbah broke loose in the second with a couple of typical slog shots.

He was particularly harsh on the spinners and milked them for runs with ease. At 99, Misbah would have hoped to complete a hundred after having missed out just in the previous Test. But luck did not favour the captain as a ball from his opposite number, Jason Holder, reared up to smack his gloves en route to the second slip fielder.

What's with Misbah and 99? It was the third time in his Test career that he was stuck on the score.

#4 Azhar Ali fashions a slow but steady hundred

Azhar Ali continued his run scoring against the Windies with a hundred

The last thing West Indies wanted was to see Azhar Ali get going. They have already witnessed what the Pakistani opener can do once he occupies the crease for long. Ali was in his zone on day 2 itself after having struck some lovely looking strokes through the covers.

Resuming on 81, Ali took his time to negate the West Indian bowlers. He slowly inched towards a hundred and reached there eventually. But much to the relief of the Windies he did not last long after as Bishoo found an outside edge off a ripping leg-break.

#3 Pakistan middle order fumbles

West Indies ran through the Pakistan lower middle-order

After West Indies had gotten rid of the set pair of Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali, Pakistan needed one of their lower middle-order batsmen to step up and take them to a sizeable lead. The lead was just four when Misbah was dismissed.

Pakistan had Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed at the crease, two batsmen capable of changing the course of the game. However, West Indies broke through the duo pretty quickly with Holder trapping Shafiq in front soon after Gabriel had dismissed Sarfraz. Amir fell to Holder soon after as Pakistan struggled to 329/7.

#2 Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel strike in tandem

Jason Holder was too hot for Pakistan to handle on Day 3

West Indies have recently found a great pace bowling combination in Alzarri Joseph, Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel. The three men have kept Pakistan on their toes right through the series with their mix of skiddy pace and awkward bounce.

Holder and Gabriel once again got into the act with the former rushing through the Pakistan middle-order to dismiss Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq and Mohammad Amir. Gabriel, who had dismissed Babar Azam for a duck on day 2, got rid of Sarfraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah to complete a four-wicket haul.

#1 The West Indian conundrum

Can the overnight pair take Windies to a good lead?

West Indies have got off to a decent start after trailing behind by 81 runs in a slow and tricky track. Brathwaite has played the patience game with 8 off 46 balls while Shimron Hetmyer has looked positive in his 22 thus far. Mohammad Abbas struck for Pakistan early in the second innings, getting rid of Kieran Powell for 6.

To get past the Pakistan lead and to set a decent target, West Indies need to get past Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan on this slow turner. While they did negate the 5 overs between these two late on Day 3, they would know the threat that Yasir poses on such a pitch.

If someone can play the anchor role, the others could bat around him and build up a good total. But much depends on patience and application.

Edited by Staff Editor

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