Kraigg Brathwaite (60 not out) continued to bat with placid calmness and Shane Dowrich (60 not out) brimmed with intent as the duo piloted West Indies to their first victory away from home in the traditional format since 2012. At 67 for 5 on Day 4, a few nerves would have jangled in West indies’ camp, but the pair blended solid technique with excellent temperament to secure a consolation victory on Day 5 of the final Test in Sharjah on Thursday (November 3).
Brathwaite, who became the fifth cricketer to carry his bat through an innings in the first essay, again showed deep reservoirs of patience to collect useful runs. He started the day on a positive note by cracking a nicely placed drive off Wahab Riaz through the cover-region for a boundary. He followed it up by nurdling one around the corner to compose his 12th Test fifty.
The merits of courage, single-mindedness and resolve were superbly demonstrated by Brathwaite. Incidentally, this is the first time an opener has remained unbeaten in both innings of a Test. Dowrich, who cracked a volley of shots to lift West Indies on Day 4, also began the day on a good note by muscling Yasir to the midwicket fence.
Dowrich reached his half-century in style, with a well-timed drive through covers. He then cracked the pull and the upper cut off Mohammad Amir to help West Indies cross the finish line. Dowrich pumped his fists in delight and the players in the pavilion too celebrated the clinical victory. West Indies’ allround show can be encapsulated by the fact that they also bowled and fielded well during the course of the match.
As the Caribbean side whittled away at the target, the hosts just looked deflated. Wahab struggled to maintain his discipline. The aggressive pacer was even warned once for running on the pitch. Yasir, the trump card of Pakistan’s bowling attack, also couldn’t get much bite from the surface.
This is the first time Pakistan have slipped to a defeat in the UAE since losing to New Zealand in Sharjah in 2014. West Indies also posted their maiden victory against Pakistan away from home in 26 years.
More importantly, the five-wicket win will boost the morale of a side that has been on a downhill path for long. Pakistan, the No. 2 ranked Test side, would be left to ponder about their listless show with the bat, especially in the second innings. It was a dead-rubber game, but the hosts would have targeted a clean-sweep.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 281 (Sami Aslam 74, Misbah-ul-Haq 53; Devendra Bishoo 4-74) and 208 (Azhar Ali 91, Sarfraz Ahmed 42; Jason Holder 5-30) lost to West Indies 337 (Kraigg Brathwaite 142*, Roston Chase 50; Wahab Riaz 5-88) and 154/5 (Kraigg Brathwaite 60*, Shane Dowrich 60*; Yasir Shah 3-40) by five wickets.