West Indies managed to survive 11 tricky overs on Day 2 at Dominica without losing a wicket after Pakistan made their way to 376 in their first innings after playing close to 147 overs. The rather slow run rate was surprising given that the pitch favoured batsmen despite being on the slower side.
Azhar Ali completed his hundred and crawled to 127 off 334 balls while Misbah-ul-Haq in his final Test made 59 from 148 balls. The slowness of the innings seemed to have irked the usually aggressive Sarfraz Ahmed. The wicket-keeper walked out, took guard outside his leg-stump and was intent on carting the bowlers.
He took Pakistan to 376 from 322/8 after Holder's twin strike. Roston Chase made use of a slow pitch to take four of his own. Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieron Powell then played out 11 overs with good technique and judgement.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 376/10 (Ali 127, Misbah 59, Chase 4/103). West Indies 14/0.
Here are the talking points from Day 2 of the final Test at Dominica.
#5 Misbah and Younis' contrasting innings
Both Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan are playing their final Test for Pakistan. Younis walked out to bat on Day 1 on the back of a rousing reception from the Windies but his stay did not last long into Day 2 as Jason Holder trapped him in front for 18. Younis reviewed but the on-field call was upheld by the third umpire.
Misbah-ul-Haq walked in at the fall of Younis' wicket and was welcomed by a guard of honour from the Windies. Dowrich, the keeper had so much more respect for Misbah that he dropping him on zero. The Pakistani skipper, who was on 1 off 52 at one stage, went on to notch up a slow half-century before Chase got rid of him at the stroke of Tea.
#4 Azhar Ali slams yet another hundred
Azhar Ali seems to be Pakistan's answer to the retirements of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. They may not have found an ideal middle-order batsman but Ali's stability and consistency at the top of the order give them hope.
The unfaithful opener is a gritty fighter and is arguably the best Test opener in World Cricket today. With a penchant for grafting fine innings', Ali slammed yet another hundred against his favourite opposition, West Indies. While the slowness of his knock is debatable there is no denying the force he is turning out to be for the visitors at the top.
#3 Roston Chase's four-wicket haul
Roston Chase isn't the main spinner in the Windies but has a knack of getting wickets with his off-spin. This might have prompted Holder to bring him on in the ninth over of the Test. Chase returned with the wicket of Masood but was largely unused after that on Day 1.
As the pitch slowed down further, Chase used his flight and dip to take three more wickets. He got three crucial breaks by bowling Azhar Ali, having Shafiq caught and then Misbah caught behind, two of conventional sweeps and the other of a reverse sweep.
#2 Sarfraz Ahmed pushes Pakistan's total
With Chase getting three crucial breakthroughs and Holder dismissing Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah off consecutive balls post tea, Pakistan were staring at 322/8 after painfully batting for such a long time.
But Sarfraz had other ideas and put on a 45 run stand with Mohammad Abbas who stayed firm with 4 off 43 balls. Eventually, Bishoo got rid of both the batsmen and the Pakistani innings ended at 376.
#1 The slow run-rate
Pakistan are certain to come in for some criticism for the manner in which they batted out their first innings. On a pitch favouring batsmen to an extent, the innings crawled along at snail's pace even when they were dominating proceedings.
Azhar Ali and Misbah together played close to 500 balls for less than 200 runs. Azam took 124 balls for a half-century while Younis Khan's 18 came in 75 balls. None of the batsmen, except Sarfraz Ahmed, showed the urgency to score quickly and set a good total. That they did not manage 400 despite being so careful would certainly disappoint them.