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Test match hangs in the balance

The second Test of the Brighto Cup series can go in favour of any team, entering the final day Thursday at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
The equation as the teams busses pull up at the Oval this morning reads – West Indies 183 runs in the lead with one wicket standing. West Indies closed the day on 264 for nine after Yasir Shah got amongst them with figures of 6/90.
The West Indies starting the day on 40/1 took control of the Test match, only to give it away in the final session. Local boy Shai Hope pulled Barbadians to the ground in the last session with a century lurking, only to disappoint, falling 10 runs short. West Indies trailing by 81 runs on first innings had reached the comfort of 235 for four thanks to Hope and Vishaul Singh but three quick strikes left them wobbling at 236 for seven. Hope batted beautifully to give West Indies a chance to square the series and when he finally trudged off for 90, he had done enough to give the bowlers something to work with on the final day. His 90 came of 209 balls with eight fours and a six. Singh who looked at home especially against the spinners made 32 of 89 balls with two fours.
Resuming on the bedtime position of 40/1 the West Indies lost an immediate wicket, as Shemron Hetmyer was bowled by Mohammad Amir for his overnight 22. The Pakistanis were all fired up after this dismissal but Kraigg Brathwaite brought some stability to the innings with his calm-natured batting.
He was joined in the effort by the attractive Hope and they took West Indies past the 81-run deficit. The two looked good and must have harboured hopes of staying together until the lunch break but it was not to be. Brathwaite edged one from leg-spinner Yasir Shah and was brilliantly caught at slip by Younis Khan for 43 off 111 balls with four fours. The score at the fall of his wicket was 97 with half an hour to go before the scheduled lunch break.
Roston Chase came and played just like he did in the first innings, when he scored his second Test century. When the lunch van pulled up, he was unbeaten on 12 and with Hope 26, took the West Indies to 112/3.
After lunch Chase and Hope continued to battle well, negotiating the spinning, popping ball out of the rough and also keeping a close eye on the balls from the faster bowlers that were keeping low.
Hope looked classy with his strokeplay, one in particular, a straight drive that was worth the price of admission. He got past his highest Test score of 41 but before he could have raised his bat for his first Test fifty, he lost Hope, caught and bowled by Shah for 23. Hope batted close to two hours, faced 83 balls with two fours.
Hope brought up his half century soon after of 124 balls with five hits to the fence. The struggling Singh was in and needed an innings to come off the selectors chopping block and also to save his team in this Test. With an economy of movement, he was able to negotiate the spin of Shadab Khan and Yasir and accompanied Hope to the tea break, with the score at 197/4.
 
SCOREBOARD
WI vs Pakistan
(overnight 286/6)
WI 1st inns 312
Pakistan 1st inns 393
WI 2nd inns
(overnight 40/1)
 
K Brathwaite    c Younis b Yasir*43
K Powell          c Sarfraz b Abas*6
S Hetmyer        b Amir*22
S Hope            c Azhar b Shah*90
R Chase          c & b Shah*23
V Singh           b Abas*32
S Dowrich      c Shaffiq b Shah*2
J Holder          c Younis b Shah*1
D Bishoo       not out*16
A Joseph        c Amir b Shah*7
S Gabriel       not out*0
Extras   16b, 2lb, 3w, 1nb*22
Total  for 9 wkts*264
Fall of wkts: 8, 41, 97, 155, 235, 235, 236, 252, 261.
 
Bowling: M Amir 21-8-44-1, M Abas 25-6-57-2, Y Shah 39-12-90-6, S Khan 17-0-55-0.
 
 

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