For the first time in their three-Test series being played in the United Arab Emirates. the beleaguered West Indies have managed a first innings lead over their dominant rivals Pakistan.
Beaten in the first two Tests after Pakistan set up huge first innings scores of 579 for 3 declared and 452 respectively, West Indies suppressed the Pakistanis in the current third, bowling them out for 281 on the second day after thay had ended Day one on 255 for 8.
West Indies themselves were overnight 244 for 6 still 47 adrift and today, third day of the scheduled five-dayer, west Indies have gone on to be 337 all out for a first innings lead of 56 runs.
Barbadian 23-year-old opener Kraigg Baithwaite, playing his 34th Test, hit a magnificent unbeaten 142 not out in being the mainstay and pillar on which West Indies built their innings lead. His innings spanned 318 balls and he counted 11 fours.
Pakistani left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz claimed five wickets including three of the last four to fall today. Devendra Bishoo , batting at number 9, gave Braithwaite invaluable support scoring 27 off 87 balls with just two fours.
Brathwaite, who brought up his fifth Test century, and Bishoo, put on an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 51 by lunch to give West Indies a 33-run lead and, with it, a chance to take charge of the Sharjah Test.
By then West Indies added 70 runs to their overnight score, for the sole loss of captain Jason Holder, and held the edge going into the interval at 314 for 7.
Brathwaite resumed on 95 on the third morning, but he made that 99 after the very first ball of the day, helping a slightly wide delivery from Mohammad Amir between gully and point. On the fifth ball of that over, Brathwaite worked one away for a two through midwicket to bring up his century.
Holder started promisingly, looking solid in defence and playing a couple of sumptuous drives for four.
But Holder’s dismissal came immediately after he hit a second boundary.
By that time, West Indies had taken the lead, and Brathwaite and Bishoo continued to build an eighth-wicket partnership that steadily extended it.
Earlier Roston Chase 50 and Shane Dowrich 47 contributed to West Indies’ reply.