After losing the ODIs and T20Is 0-3 to Pakistan, West Indies showed more resistance than most would have expected to finish the Test series 1-2.
Batting 100 overs in the fourth innings
West Indies lost the first Test in Dubai by 56 runs and the second in Abu Dhabi by 133, but they made Pakistan toil for both victories. They batted 109 and 108 overs in each of those final innings; only the fourth time they had batted for more than 100 overs in the fourth innings more than once in a series. The other three instances were: against England in 1930, Pakistan in 1977 and Australia in 1999. Only 12 times has a team done it in an away series, and this was a first for West Indies away from the Caribbean.
Taking all three Tests into the fifth day
Before this tour of the UAE, West Indies had taken only five away Tests out of the last 13, across five tours, into the fifth day. Of those five Tests, only the one in Dunedin had not been interrupted by rain or bad light over the first four days. They managed to take all three Tests in this series against Pakistan into the fifth day, and not a minute was lost to rain or bad light either. This was only the 12th series since 2000 in which West Indies took at least three Tests in a series into the fifth day.
Brathwaite making Test history as an opener
Never before in 2228 Test matches had an opener remained unbeaten in both innings of a Test. Kraigg Brathwaite did it in Sharjah. He carried his bat in the first innings, making 142 while West Indies were dismissed for 337, and then scored an unbeaten 60 in the second innings as they successfully chased 153 to win by five wickets.
Holder turning a Test with the ball
Jason Holder has not had an easy time as West Indies captain. There were questions over whether he was too young when he was appointed in October 2015, at the age of 23. Since then West Indies have changed coaches and have had issues with senior players over selection. While coping with problems outside his control, Holder has also had to fend off questions over his place in the side: his batting average hasn’t risen above 30 since his ninth Test and his bowling average was only a fraction under 50 after his 18th – the Dubai Test of this series. So his spell of 5 for 30 in Pakistan’s second innings in Sharjah, which began the collapse that culminated in West Indies needing only 153 to win, was a surprise – and a significant improvement over his previous career-best of 3 for 15. The Sharjah Test was Holder’s first win as captain, two days’ shy of his 25th birthday.
Bishoo striking at a better rate than Yasir
Devendra Bishoo had taken only four wickets at 67 apiece in two innings in the recent home Tests against India, so a haul of 18 in three Tests against Pakistan in the UAE was quite a turnaround. Bishoo finished the series second on the wicket charts, taking them at an average of 27. His strike rate of 45 was better than that of Yasir Shah, who was the top wicket-taker. Bishoo took ten in the Dubai Test – 8 for 49 in the second innings – and seven in West Indies’ victory in Sharjah. Bishoo’s 18 are the most wickets for a West Indies spinner in a series since Lance Gibbs took 21 against India in 1974.