Windies
West Indies bowlers displayed a collectively bowling effiort Getty Images

West Indies are already 2-0 down in a three-Test series against Pakistan. As a result, they have no option but to play for pride and conclude the series on a winning note. For that matter, Day One of the third Test belonged to them, as Pakistan stutter at 255 for 8. All the same, Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat first, given the track was a featherbed for the batters. “It’s important to play every game better than the previous one. That’s key for us if we have to make progress as a team. Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir come in for Rahat Ali and Sohail Khan. The bowlers will have to work really hard here on this surface,” Misbah said at the toss. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs West Indies, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi

Meanwhile, West Indies captain Jason Holder added, “For us it’s about improving and trying to finish the tour on a high. We’ve to take chances and build pressure together collectively. I would have felt better had we won the toss, but the mood in the camp is good. We’ve shown glimpses of improvement. Alzarri Joseph and Shane Dowrich in for Miguel Cummins and Shai Hope.”

As a matter of fact, Misbah surpassed Imran Khan’s record of captaining Pakistan in most number of matches. “Team first,” Misbah said when asked about the milestone.

However, leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel shared seven wickets between them. Pakistan were cruising along nicely at 230 for 4 when West Indies grabbed four quick wickets to put Pakistan on the back foot at 255 for 8 by close of play.

Earlier, Sami Aslam, Misbah, Younis Khan and Sarfraz Ahmed scored a fifty each but failed to reach the three-figure mark. Ahmed and Misbah had added 80 for the fifth wicket but Pakistan lost four wickets in the space of 18 runs to slump at 248 for 8, with Bishoo registering figures of 4 for 74 and Gabriel had 3 for 58.

That slump could hurt Pakistan’s chances of whitewashing West Indies 3-0 after winning the first Test by 56 runs in Dubai and the second by 133 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, Misbah was himself guilty as he gloved a reverse sweep off Bishoo after hitting three fours and a six. Misbah was lucky to survive a close leg-before decision after West Indian captain Jason Holder took a review against Australian umpire Paul Rieffel’s not out decision but television umpire Richard Illingworth backed up the on-field official on the basis of sound, which could have been an edge off the bat.

That left West Indian players aggrieved as it could have further hit Pakistan hard.

Aslam, who added 106 for the third wicket with Younis, also fell to an irresponsible reverse sweep off Bishoo after looking set for his maiden hundred, having hit seven fours and a six in his 172-ball knock. Younis, who hit four boundaries and a six off Chase in completing his 31st Test half century, also played a rash shot and was caught off Roston Chase.

All in all, West Indies have an upper hand, given the track has slowed down a bit.

On Day Two, they will leave no stone unturned to bundle out the hosts, bat as long as possible and take a big lead.