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Pakistan held their nerves in the first 2 Tests, and established themselves as the superior side of the two Getty Images

West Indies surpassed all expectations in their 2016-17 series against Pakistan in UAE. They lost 1-2, but they were in a position to win the first Test at Dubai. At one point they needed 83 with 4 wickets in hand, but they could add only 26. They played positive cricket at Abu Dhabi as well, reaching 244 for 5 against a target of 456 before being bowled out for 322. They needed that one big innings, someone to bat through, which they finally found in Kraigg Brathwaite in Sharjah. Brathwaite became the first opener in Test cricket history to remain unbeaten in each innings, and saw 15 wickets fall at the other end. He batted for 696 minutes and faced 427 balls without being dismissed, an amazing feat on a not-too-high-scoring pitch. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs West Indies, 3rd Test at Sharjah

However positive and gritty the West Indians might have been, the series still went to Pakistan, and deservingly so. West Indies fought hard, but Pakistan held their nerves in the first 2 Tests, and established themselves as the superior side of the two. In Yasir Shah they have the finest leg-spinner in the world; the infallible Younis Khan found success again; Misbah-ul-Haq got his runs, as did Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali; Rahat Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed, and Mohammad Nawaz all had decent outings; and Wahab Riaz brought the last Test to life.

Pakistan collapsed twice, in the second innings of the first and third Tests, but barring that there was never any doubt about their supremacy. They made some questionable team selections, but barring minor hiccups their performance was too clinical for a fresh-looking West Indies team. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: Pakistan vs West Indies, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 5

Here, then, is a report card for the winners.

Yasir Shah: 9.5

It was a near-perfect series for Yasir, who had 7 wickets in the first Test, 10 in the second, and 4 more (out of 15) in the third. There is little more to add to those numbers, barring that 10 of his 21 wickets came in the first innings of the Tests. That half point is for the match-deciding stunner to get rid of Darren Bravo at Dubai.

Younis Khan: 8.5

Dengue had ruled Younis out of the first Test. He walked out at 42 for 2 in the second, and got 127. He remained unbeaten in the second innings. And in the third he entered at 1 for 2 and responded with 51. All in all, it was just another two weeks or so at work for the legend…

Azhar Ali: 8.5

Azhar rewrote many a record, both for performances in UAE and in day-night Tests, with his mammoth unbeaten 302 at Dubai, but there was more to his series than that. There was a brisk 79 at Abu Dhabi, but it was his 91 at Sharjah that gave Pakistan something to fight for. All in all, it was an excellent series for a man who had always fallen short of his immense potential. Unbeaten Brathwaite, West Indies 26-year hiatus against Pakistan and an unwanted record for Aamer

Wahab Riaz: 8

Wahab did well in bursts, taking wickets at crucial junctures. He got only 3 wickets at Dubai, two in the first innings to prevent West Indies from putting up a good fight and a jolt in the second. He missed the second Test, but took 7 of the 15 wickets at Sharjah. He bowled with pace and bounce, and bothered the West Indian batsmen on a consistent basis.

Sami Aslam: 7.5

Judging purely by the series average, Sami s 281 at 46.83 does not stand out, but he went past 40 four times, scored a fifty in every Test, and top-scored in two Pakistan innings. His most crucial contribution was his 44 in the second innings at Dubai; the rest of the side got 79, of which 12 were extras. The fact that Pakistan won by 56 runs bears testimony to the importance of the knock. Pakistan finally seem to have found their opening pair, that too without their UAE giant Mohammad Hafeez.

Sarfraz Ahmed: 7

It is likely that Sarfraz may take over the mantle from Misbah at some point of time (provided he outlasts Misbah, that is). He kept wickets soundly and was at his ebullient best behind stumps. He batted four times. While the dazzling 56 and 51 were breathtaking and vintage Sarfraz, the 42 in the second innings Sharjah was an almost-there rearguard act. He loses a point for the irresponsible effort in the first innings at Dubai.

Asad Shafiq: 6

Shafiq scored 3 fifties as well, but it was really the 68 in the first innings at Abu Dhabi that came under pressure, and he failed whenever a big innings was expected of him. Given his immense talent one would have expected much more from him.

Misbah-ul-Haq: 6

Fans are unhappy with Misbah despite him scoring more than his career average in the series: there can be hardly any testimony better than that for any batsman. The ageless behemoth was not at his run-glutton self here, but he got those runs, a quick cameo in the first innings of the series, and 96 and 53 under pressure in the other two. However, Misbah being Misbah, he loses some points for getting out to two atrocious shots when his side was under pressure; and I am not even mentioning the reverse-sweep.

Mohammad Nawaz: 5

These are still learning days for young Nawaz, who had a decent first series. He was slightly unfortunate, for each of his four dismissals came off excellent deliveries. With ball he played a crucial role in Dubai with 2 for 38 and 2 for 32 and got the dangerous-looking Brathwaite at Abu Dhabi, but that was about it.

Mohammad Aamer: 5

It was an ordinary series for young (yes, still young) Aamer. He missed a Test and had two probing spells, but did not create any impression in the other two. To be fair, however, he matured as the series went on, and adjusted himself to longer spells accordingly. There are two part-marks, one for the tremendous maiden catch to dismiss Bravo, the other for causing once-in-a-lifetime hilarity by getting run out at Sharjah.

Rahat Ali: 5

Rahat s curious omission at Sharjah defied logic. Not only did he take 3 for 35 and 1 for 69 on a flat track at Abu Dhabi, all of them were top-order batsmen. His 3 first-innings wickets all came off scorchers. Indeed, had Rahat played ahead of Zulfiqar at Sharjah, it might have made a difference.

Babar Azam: 4.5

Babar played one Test, the first of his career, scoring 67 in the first innings at a brisk pace when quick runs were the call of the hour. Unfortunately, the second-innings stroke was not quite Pakistan needed when Devendra Bishoo was running through. He gets half a point for the run out of Shannon Gabriel: it is not every day that a debutant keeps a cool head to seal a Test.

Sohail Khan: 2

Two of 3 wickets Sohail Khan took from 2 were tail-end wickets. He lacked the bite, and was largely ineffective; gets some points for a rollicking 26 at Abu Dhabi.

Zulfiqar Babar: 1.5

There were criticisms for Zulfiqar s omission at Dubai. Once he returned, however, he did not create an impression. His only quality wicket was that of Bravo, for which Aamer probably deserves more credit than him.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Chief Editor at CricketCountry. He blogs at and can be followed on Twitter @ovshake42.)