Pakistan team atre on course to seal the series with a victory in the 2nd Test    Getty Images
Pakistan team atre on course to seal the series with a victory in the 2nd Test Getty Images

Hosts Pakistan have taken the complete control over the second Test as they have extended their lead in the second innings by 342 runs at Stumps. Pakistan have their opener Azhar Ali on crease who is batting on 52 from 102 balls along with Asad Shafiq who is playing on 5 of 23 balls. Azhar Ali registered his 21st Test fifty and also his second of the series in as many matches. West Indies had started off their day from 106 for the loss of 4 wickets as they lost Marlon Samuels and Kraigg Brathwaite on consecutive deliveries. They could muster up more 118 runs on Day Three, as Yasir Shah grabbed 4 wickets in the first innings to bundle the visitors for 224. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs West Indies, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi

It was very much on the cards that the visitors would crumble against the strong bowling line-up of Pakistan. But the question was WHEN! The visitors had tow night watchmen Devendra Bishoo and Jermaine Blackwood at the crease and they had to face the likes of Sohail Khan and Zulfiqar Babar who had been on the end of receiving some reverse swing. So it was very much expected that these two bowlers would disturb the timbers very early into the game. Blackwood didn’t do anything surprising as he went back to the dressing room on the score of 8. Bishoo did show some resilience at the other end as he batted for 66 balls for his 20. But is innings was ended by Sohail Khan. Roston Chase, Shai Hopes, Jason Holder, Miguel Cummins and Shannon Gabriel came in and went back again doing nothing great for their team. Holder remained the top scorer from this lot with 31 runs from 36 balls. West Indies team was all-out by the stroke of Tea. West Indies fell 29 runs short of avoiding the follow-on but Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq decided not to enforce it and batted again. READ: Pakistan vs West Indies, 2nd Test, Tea Report: Visitors crumbled for 224

Yasir Shah’s four wickets led Pakistan’s slow but clinical strangulation of West Indies before their top three stretched a 228-run first-innings lead to 342, leaving Pakistan in a dominant position in the Abu Dhabi Test by stumps on the third day. While Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali did not go out of their way to score quickly, the ease with which they milked the bowling contrasted with West Indies’ struggles in the first two sessions of the day.

Pakistan came in to bat in the last session with the duo of Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam who had failed to impress in the first innings. But these two batted responsibly as they already had the lead of 228 runs. They were being watchful of every ball and were letting good balls go into the keeper’s gloves without poking their bat at it. This two went on to put a 93 runs stand for the first wicket before Shannon Gabriel got rid of Sami Aslam who had just got to his half-century 2 balls ago. The ball swung from off to leg and settled into keeper Hopes’ gloves. Umpire Illingworth turned down the strong appeal from the bowler and the keeper who went in loud as they knew about the edge. Holder immediately went for the referral and the on-field decision was turned down as the reply showed that he had edged the ball. Sami’s departure meant Asad Shafiq’s entry who had scored 68 in the first innings.

When Pakistan come out to bat, they will be wanting to bat, as much as they can as they have a considerable amount of overs and also some of the best Test players that we see in international cricket right now. West Indies on the other side have had nothing positive on Day Three. They were all-out first and the had to bowl 39 overs and have got just one wicket. They will have to do something which they haven’t done so far in this Test and try bowling out Pakistan as quickly as they can. Because the way the hosts have batted, their intentions are looking pretty clear that they would like the lead to be extended till 500. Having a target in the region of 500 is as if a mental setback and that can add up to the West Indian getting out in no matter of time due to succumbing to the pressure.

West Indies have never looked in the game so far, except for the initial overs of the match where they got rid of the Pakistani openers quickly. But since then nothing has gone their way, or if anything did go their way they just couldn’t keep up being consistent with it. they have lost their track every time when it felt like they were on it. With almost 180 overs remaining in the match, Pakistan has every chance of winning this Test given the way they are placed in the contest right now. It will be very difficult for West Indies to do something magical that they haven’t done in this series so far. Or as a matter of fact, since the time they have come to the UAE for this Pakistan tour. So if they want to at least draw this match, the visitors need to pull out something magical or else this match has taken its route to a forgone conclusion from the West Indian perspective.