The third and final Test between West Indies and Pakistan was looking destined for a draw. With just seven balls remaining in the match, Roston Chase and Shannon Gabriel were looking well-set to rescue a dramatic draw for their team. Chase was batting on 101 while Gabriel also had his eyes set after playing out more than three overs. It was the final delivery of the penultimate over of the day and Gabriel needed to see out just one more ball to bring Chase on strike. But then came a moment of madness from the tail-ender which undid all the good work put in by West Indies’ lower-order on the final day.
Yasir Shah bowled a full delivery wide of the off-stump, inviting Gabriel to go for the big shot and the West Indian duly obliged. He swung wildly at the wide delivery but only managed to drag it onto his stumps as his side were bowled out for 202 to lose the series 2-1. But perhaps this is the beauty of the Test cricket, a game full of glorious uncertainties. One cannot predict the outcome of the match till the umpire takes off the bails on the final day and West Indies will know it better than anyone else right now.
The thoughts go out to Chase’s heroic ton which almost pulled off an unlikely draw but at the same time, it seems the turn of events was cricket god’s way of bidding adieu to two of modern cricket’s greatest stalwarts- Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan. Both the players were playing their final Tests and brought down curtains on their illustrious career in probably the best possible manner and something that was a testament to the latter part of their careers. Both the players were the protagonists of several memorable moments for Pakistan in Test cricket, most notably playing a big role in helping Pakistan reach the pinnacle of Test cricket for the first time last year since the ranking was introduced and they bowed out of the game with another historic moment. The win in West Indies was Pakistan’s first-ever series win in the Caribbeans and the retiring duo could have asked for nothing more.
Coming to the game, West Indies began their day on 7 for 1 in pursuit of Pakistan’s 303. But just within an hour of the final day’s play, the home side was staring down the barrel as they were three down with just 47 runs on the board. Yasir Shah drew the first blood when his short and wide ball tempted Kraigg Brathwaite to hit straight into the hands of the fielder at point. Mohammad Amir then castled Shimron Hetmyer with a brilliant inswinger. By the time the lunch was taken, West Indies were reeling at 73 for 4.
Pakistan’s domination continued after the lunch too with Yasir Shah accounting for Vishaul Singh and Shane Dowrich to reduce the hosts to 93 for 6 before the show of resistance began by West Indies’ lower-order guided by the solid Roston Chase.
Chase began the rescue work with his skipper Jason Holder. The duo batted for close to 20 overs, adding 58-runs for the seventh wicket before Holder was dismissed LBW by Hasan Ali. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s anxieties continued to grow as Devendra Bishoo and Alzarri Joseph also offered some resistance.
But it reached a boiling point when Gabriel’s defiance for eight over with Chase almost pulled off a draw before the former’s careless shot handed the match and the series to the visitors.
Pakistan 376 (Azhar 127, Misbah 59, Chase 4-103) and 174 for 8 dec (Yasir 38*, Younis 35, Joseph 3-53) beat West Indies 247 (Chase 69, Abbas 5-46, Yasir 3-126) and 202 (Chase 101*, Yasir 5-92, Hasan 3-33) by 101 runs