West Indies v Pakistan, 1st Test, Kingston, 1st day April 21, 2017

Chase and Dowrich keep West Indies afloat after Amir strikes


West Indies 244 for 7 (Holder 30*, Bishoo 23*) v Pakistan
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 01:26
If we get 350-plus, we will be happy - Chase

West Indies' middle and lower order came to their rescue in a big way as they recovered from a precarious 71 for 5 to end the opening day in Jamaica on 244 for 7. Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich added 118 for the sixth wicket after Mohammad Amir had made three breakthroughs either side of lunch as Pakistan threatened to take a firm hold on the match.

Play was called off nine overs early, as the clouds that hovered above for much of the day finally impacted the light enough to convince the umpires to lead the players off after just one over with the new ball, but the final session had not been short of action. Chase and Dowrich, whose partnership started in the first over after lunch, took their stand to three figures but just as it looked like Pakistan were running out of ideas the breakthrough came via a miraculous diving catch on the boundary to dismiss Chase, with Wahab Riaz taking a stunning grab running towards the long-on boundary.

The next ball, Dowrich was bowled by Yasir Shah as the visitors wrestled the advantage again, but some gutsy late hitting by Jason Holder and Devendra Bishoo ensured West Indies finished the day with some momentum, and a total to defend.

Pakistan were on top for much of the first day, but West Indies produced a heartening response after looking as though they could unravel when Amir and debutant Mohammad Abbas were operating with the new ball. Abbas claimed a wicket with his second delivery in Test cricket as Kraigg Brathwaite edged to second slip where Younis Khan snared another catch, reminding Pakistan it wasn't just his runs they were going to miss when he hangs up his bat at the end of this Test series.

However, Abbas' senior bowling partner was the man of the morning. Showing exquisite control, Amir produced one to dart back into the left-handed Shimron Hetmyer, one of two West Indians on debut. Hetmyer, who had for much of his short stay at the crease been chiefly concerned with Amir's outswinger, was clearly unprepared for the change-up; Pakistan had almost begun celebrating by the time the his bat came down. Four overs later, Amir castled Shai Hope with his stock delivery, swinging into the right-hander and sending his off stump cartwheeling.

When Wahab came on, the runs flowed a little more freely, the batsmen taking advantage of his slightly erratic length and relative lack of movement. Even so, he claimed the scalp of Vishaul Singh, also in his first outing, owing to a sharp catch at square leg from Azhar Ali, the batsman falling over to a ball drifting on to leg stump.

When Kieran Powell fell two deliveries after lunch, chasing a wide swinging delivery from Amir he would have been better off leaving alone, Pakistan would have harboured realistic hopes of dismissing West Indies for under 150, but Chase and Dowrich took control of the innings with a sense of grit and determination that supposedly better batsmen had been devoid of. They were excellent in trying circumstances, taking advantage whenever Yasir - who was inconsistent - missed his length, and punished Wahab when his line wavered. They did not panic when the runs dried up, but didn't go back into their shells so much they couldn't pounce on the poor deliveries.

Chase and Dowrich snapped back into a more aggressive mindset soon after tea, the latter rubber-stamping that fact by slashing Abbas for a pair of stylish square cuts and bringing up the 100-run stand moments later. It was then that the absence of a fifth bowling option began to hurt the visitors as they turned to Amir again, who they would ideally have wanted to rest until the new ball.

However, when this Test match has long been forgotten, all people will probably remember is how the sixth-wicket stand was broken. In a moment of play that almost defied belief, Chase struck a lofted drive off Yasir, looking for all the world like it would fetch him a boundary, despite Wahab, hardly a world-beating fielder, scampering back from mid-off. Wahab threw himself at the ball - even the technique looked all wrong - and somehow emerged with it in hand. The umpires asked for TV confirmation - perhaps they were just as astonished as everyone else.

The next ball, Dowrich was beaten for spin as he tried to drive Yasir along the ground, the ball thudding into his stumps: 189 for 5 had become 189 for 7 and, just like that, Pakistan again sensed a swift end to the innings.

However, no one appeared to have told Holder and Bishoo, who set upon Yasir in a display of counter-attacking hitting, not afraid to loft him in the air, earning multiple boundaries in return. They raced to a fifty-partnership at almost a run-a-ball, and continued to frustrate Pakistan as the new ball was taken.

Fortune came to their aid thereafter, as the new ball was only one Amir over old when the umpires decided this was no time of day to be facing fast bowling. Holder and Bishoo didn't need to be told twice, sprinting off to the dressing room after living to fight another day.

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jalohm1118568 on May 3, 2017, 17:12 GMT

    keep going guys we are proud of you and best of luck for the future

  • Mallesha on April 23, 2017, 2:07 GMT

    pak fans, it's open sport forum ... fans will give opinion u like it or not. we Indians are the one who receive max negative comments in our match

  • Michael on April 22, 2017, 21:00 GMT

    Can't be Queens Park Oval again for it was said by a certain comments person then by the name of THELIGHT that the problem there was as a result of oceanic tides and run offs from south american rivers ( where incidentally it was also raining ) which in turn influenced the tides and which was made even worst by the fact that Trinidad is an estuary Island....clearly a man reading but not understanding what he had read. The RUN OFFS from SOUTH AMERICAN RIVERS reaching TRINIDAD ????? that is the part that have me ''cracking up" ....TO THIS DAY jack .

  • Muhammad Ammar on April 22, 2017, 20:55 GMT

    Well done Aamir. Abbas should focus more on Aamir's bowling for inspiration. Tight bowling lines, using conditions for own benefit, keep spirited for long run, and attack where the opponent is week. Wahab should change his policy of attacking on body, instead he should attack more on edge to first or second slip, with occasionally attacking on body, to gain more success. Yasir Shah should be either rested, or give him a fifth bowler like Imad Wasim, etc.

  • vnr on April 22, 2017, 20:45 GMT

    Very interesting contest between WI and Pakistan through T20, ODI and now Test cricket. It is a terrible feeling in April-May when there is no cricket other than IPL -- so this series is just so welcome! I am sure genuine cricket fans will agree. Pakistan and West Indies try so hard to play their best. This is international cricket in its real seriousness, and IPL is a domestic T20 league. Surely an Indian team will win IPL again this year. Champions league T20 failed because we Indian fans were uneasy to think a team from another country might win CLT20 one day... So it is better to call the IPL final as the Champions League final or even SUPER BOWL! The only contribution of IPL to cricket, in my humble opinion, is the great friendship that has developed between international players from different countries by playing for the same team in IPL. Meanwhile an IPL fan commented on this page: "two boring teams test match ..anyway ! lol .. switch to IPL , lol. cracking day today at IPL."

  • Dennis on April 22, 2017, 20:36 GMT

    Ref mngci, Take no notice of metman, He has no clue about cricket, He only goes by Stats, Stats don`t win games, only form, He also does not know about RECORDS in cricket, One good performance is not ah record. e.g, Lara has produce ah Test record twice, Made it against England, lost it, & regain it back against England on the same ground Twice. That is ah record that no bajan will ever achieve.

  • Dennis on April 22, 2017, 20:23 GMT

    Looks like Rain will save the W.I. Rally around for Rain.

  • vnr on April 22, 2017, 20:20 GMT

    Rain stops play again... Which is the only country where it does NOT rain when Test cricket is being played?

    Answer: UAE!

    That means that every draw earned in UAE is a genuine draw not aided by a drop of rain.

  • vnr on April 22, 2017, 20:13 GMT

    Jason Holder is looking like a proper top order batsman and probably needs to bat at no:5 or 6 in this excellent form. Hard work has brought rewards for Pakistan in the first innings. Great work by M. Amir to take 5 wickets on his comeback. Despite losing many overs already, this Test looks headed for a result!

  • Muhammad Ammar on April 22, 2017, 20:07 GMT

    The match is getting interesting because both the teams will try to extract result in lesser time due to rain. Rain will keep interrupting, so do the idiots like mlscricfan, who say that no interest here, but keep coming for the sake of publicity. Pak have been historically weak on such pitches, so they should not have let the benefit of initial success go after quick 5 wickets. This is pathetic captaincy stuff from Misbah. Yasir Shah has lost his glamous soon after his 100 wickets. Now chance should be given to new talent Shadab.

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