Shaheen three-for leaves West Indies in a spot of bother

Kingston, Jamaica

There was more crammed into that first session on the fourth day than many entire days, and as we wait for the restart, West Indies need another 130 runs and Pakistan seven wickets to claim a Test win in Jamaica.

A sensational burst from Jayden Seales, which made him the youngest West Indian to get a Test match five-for – and beat Alf Valentine’s 71-year-old record – saw Pakistan’s lower order rolled over with little trouble, setting the home side 168 for victory.

But Shaheen Afridi, just 17 months Seales’ senior, struck back hard for Pakistan, skittling West Indies’ top three to leave them teetering at 20 for 3 at lunch.

In the first innings, West Indies had cleaned up the last five Pakistan wickets for just 31 runs, and they needed a repeat here, in the second dig.

Seales led the charge in that mission, and within an hour and a half, Pakistan’s last five had fallen for 35; 28 of those were added by an enterprising Hasan Ali in just 26 balls – with two fours and as many sixes that pushed the target above 150, each extra run giving himself and his fellow bowlers precious breathing room.

Earlier, Kemar Roach began proceedings by having Faheem Ashraf nick off, with a superb catch from Joshua Da Silva ending a 47-run partnership.

Babar Azam’s presence at the crease seemed to take on even greater importance, but a Kyle Mayers delivery seared up off a crack and looped up to Jason Holder at second slip.

Azam had departed for a valiant 55, and it may yet prove a match-winning innings, but Pakistan did want more from him.

From there on, it was down to the raw pace of Seales against Pakistan’s lower order. Yasir Shah and Afridi were sent back with little bother, but Ali rode his luck as Pakistan brought up 200.

Seales, though, would not be denied a maiden five-for in just his second Test, and got there when Ali’s hook went straight to Roach at fine leg. West Indies had been set 168; they would have taken that before the reply began.

The Afridi show began in a somewhat surreal over that had three reviews for lbws by Pakistan against Kieran Powell, the third finally resulting in success.

Kraigg Brathwaite didn’t last long in the face of a hostile spell from Afridi, his poke at one that jagged away leading to his downfall, but only after a review.

Nkrumah Bonner dragged on in Afridi’s following over, and suddenly, the pre-lunch session turned into a damage-limitation exercise for West Indies.

There was little respite from the other end, with Mohammad Abbas exploiting the cracks and finding the usual seam movement in both directions, while Ali looked sharp in the two overs he bowled before lunch.

Notably, Jermaine Blackwood sent Afridi for a couple of authoritative leg-side boundaries, indicating the way he might approach the session that follows.

Jayden Seales became the youngest West Indies bowler to claim five wickets in a Test innings as Pakistan were dismissed for 203 on the fourth day of the first Test on Sunday.
West Indies will need 168 to take victory in the first of a two-match series at Sabina Park.—Agencies

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