ROSEAU: Departing stalwarts Younis Khan and captain Misbah ul Haq failed to make an impact in their farewell international innings but Pakistan were poised to press for a series-clinching victory over the West Indies at stumps on the fourth day at Windsor Park in Dominica on Saturday.
Following the tedium of the first three days which saw a total of 15 wickets falling, 14 tumbled on the penultimate day of the series, ending with the home side at seven for one after being set a daunting victory target of 304.
Mohammad Abbas claimed his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket to trigger a West Indies first innings collapse to 247 all out in the morning after they resumed at 218 for five with the match appearing at the start of the day to be dragging towards a dreary draw.
“Eight seasons of first-class cricket bowling long spells prepared me for this opportunity,” said Abbas.
“I dedicate this performance to both Misbah and Younis because it is my great fortune to play with them but also unfortunate for it to be their last series.”
In attempting to build on that considerable lead of 129 Pakistan crashed to 90 for seven before Yasir Shah, with a Test-best 38 not out, and a determined 27 from Mohammad Amir allowed Misbah the luxury of a second innings declaration at 174 for eight late in the day.
Shah and Amir put on 61 for the eighth wicket and benefited from the continuing West Indian epidemic of errors in the field. Shah was caught behind off a no-ball from leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo and two catches were missed as the tail wagged and the home side wilted.
Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph claimed three wickets but the West Indies’ failure to press home the advantage after getting Younis and Misbah cheaply proved costly.
Shah then turned the screws on his opponents when he removed Kieran Powell to a catch at silly point with what proved to be the final ball of an eventful day.