KINGSTON, Jamaica: Misbah ul Haq became just the sixth batsman in Test history to be left stranded on 99 not out as Pakistan were dismissed for 407 in reply to the West Indies’ first innings total of 286 on Monday.
Last man and debutant Mohammad Abbas was trapped LBW by Roston Chase to deprive the captain of his 11th hundred and second against the West Indies in this format of the game. However the consolation would have been playing a significant role in the tourists building a potentially decisive first innings head of 121 runs at tea on the fourth day of the first Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
In his usual phlegmatic, pedestrian manner, Misbah ensured Pakistan constructed their position of dominance via a succession of partnerships after they resumed on the fourth morning at 201 for four and facing the threat of the second new ball.
Yet it was a far from flawless effort as the West Indies extended their season of woe in the field, allowing the opposing skipper to escape when he should have first been taken at short-leg by debutant Vishaul Singh off Gabriel, and then later on in the morning session by Alzarri Joseph running back at mid-off to the bowling of leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.
It was Bishoo who eventually broke an 88-run sixth-wicket stand between Misbah and Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicketkeeper batsman playing in his usual pugnacious manner in getting to 54 before he was bowled around his legs attempting a sweep shot just after lunch.
During the course of his innings Ahmed went past 2,000 runs in his Test career.
Misbah achieved a milestone of his own when he notched his 5,000th Test career run before reaching the half-century mark and began to play an increasingly important role through the afternoon session as the West Indies
emerged from their listless indifference of the first session to finally get among the wickets.
Joseph removed Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz in quick succession to finish with three wickets in the innings, the same as fellow opening bowler Gabriel. When substitute fielder Jermaine Blackwood ran out Yasir Shah, Misbah was on 68 with the score at 373 for nine.
However, Abbas displayed determination and discipline in surviving with his captain for 45 minutes while Misbah controlled most of the strike and edged towards the coveted century.
Just one run away, though, he was denied when Chase trapped the newcomer in front. Misbah’s innings spanned nine minutes short of six hours during which he faced 223 deliveries, striking three sixes and five fours. -APP