Azhar Ali during his knock of 39* in the first session    Getty Images
Azhar Ali during his knock of 39* in the first session Getty Images

Pakistan were at 81 for no loss in 27 overs at the end of the first session as both openers Sami Aslam 36 off 82 deliveries and Azhar Ali 39 off 84 balls went back to the dressing room with head held high. In what is the first ever day-night match between Pakistan and West Indies, the first session was dominated by the Pakistani openers. The pink-ball hasn’t shown much of help for the West Indian bowlers as they have looked clueless about how to get rid of the opening pair. Ali, who has so far hit five boundaries, had a life when Leon Johnson failed to hold on a sharp chance at gully off paceman Miguel Cummins on 17. West Indian captain Jason Holder brought on his part-time spinner Kraig Brathwaite in the 15th over and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo in the 21st but there were no signs of spin. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: PAKISTAN Vs WEST INDIES, 1st TEST.

Both the openers Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam have proved their captain Misbah-ul-Haq’s decision right as Misbah won the toss and opted to bat in the second ever day-night Test, played with a pink ball instead of the traditional red at Dubai stadium. Jason Holder, the West Indian skipper has been the economical bowler for the visitors as he finished with the figures of 5-2-6 -0-1.20. The Pakistani openers started off well as they were watchful in the initial stage of the game while they also made sure that they punished the bad balls dispatching the ball to the boundary rope. Pakistan seems to have an easy task of taking on the depleted West Indies side at Dubai in the second-ever pink-ball Test, reclaiming the ICC Test Championship Mace during this season might be on their mind and the match will also mark their 400th Test.

Australia and New Zealand featured in the day-night Test at Adelaide in November last year — the first-ever in Test cricket’s 140-year history. Pakistan, who are playing their 400th Test, handed Test caps to batsman Babar Azam and left-arm spinning all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz. West Indies, routed 3-0 in both the preceding Twenty20 and One-Day International series, included three seamers and two spinners in the side. The remaining two Tests will be played in Abu Dhabi (October 21-25) and Sharjah (October 30-November 3)

Pakistan undoubtedly have the experience and advantage of playing at their adopted home and will battle it out hard to regain their top-spot after India snatched it riding on the whitewash against New Zealand recently. Both Pakistan and West Indies have hosted many domestic games with the pink ball and this one is expected to be a good contest. Pakistan have been in a magnificent form in the recent times and have played as a unit. They drew the four-match Test series against England in England by 2-2, which was no less than a moral victory for them. However, they will be without the services of their key batsman Younis Khan who has been rested citing recovery from dengue fever.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Nawaz will have various eyes set on them as they were in excellent form in the limited overs format against West Indies. Babar Azam went on to score three consecutive centuries in as many matches against the visitors as Pakistan whitewashed them yet once again in ODI series.

West Indies have some key players like Kraigg Brathwaite, Leon Johnson, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich, who could well make an impact with the bat and score big runs. While their bowling department hails of Jason Holder, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins and Shannon Gabriel. The team inspires immense confidence and one can expect them to come out hard but defeating Pakistan in their own den will be a tough ask.

Mohammad Nawaz who is making his debut in whites has been in decent form in the recent times. His inclusion will give Pakistan options as the left-arm spinner and batsman bring a lot to the table. West Indies, on the other hand, have had a torrid time in whites after losing the four-match Test series against Virat Kohli and co. at home. They will look for the resurrection of fortunes on whites and come out hard in this series. They will be happy with the way they played in the tour games, where most of their batsmen made runs and their bowlers were among the wickets. They have a well-balanced side and well capable of creating an upset. Their key player Darren Bravo has been slightly out of touch in the recent times and will look to improve his numbers in this series.

It will be a different experience altogether as both the sides are playing their first game under the lights and with the pink ball. Pakistan have a more balanced team than West Indies and have been in great form in the recent times. One can expect them to stand out and kick start the series with a bang. Day one will be important for both the sides and as of now all eyes are set at UAE as Day one unfolds in some time.