Azhar Ali played an emphatic knock on Day 1     AFP
Azhar Ali played an emphatic knock on Day 1 AFP

Pakistan find themselves in a commendable position at stumps on Day 1 of the first Test against West Indies at UAE on Thursday. They played sensibly and scored runs massively as both their openers fired with all guns and steered his side in a commanding position. Azhar Ali remained unbeaten on 146 while Asad Shafiq remained unconquered on 33. West Indies were hapless and had no clue whatsoever as they only managed to chip a solitary wicket in the entire day. Their seamers were clueless while Devendra Bishoo also remained wicketless on a pitch which had some turned in it. West Indies have a mountain to climb ahead of them on Day 2. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: PAKISTAN Vs WEST INDIES, 1st TEST.

Ali scored his 11th Test ton and played sensibly right from the outset. There was some movement initially in the pitch but Pakistani batsmen did well in not letting any wicket fall in the early stages. West Indies lost both their reviews after Jason Holder challenged the umpire’s decision and later Devendra Bishoo did the same. Pakistani batsmen looked determined. Azhar placed his innings sensibly and looked astute in his approach. He complimented well with Aslam and did a good job in building a crucial partnership at the top. It was a delight to watch the Pakistani opening pair bat out in the middle. Aslam was unlucky to have been dismissed in such a manner as the ball ripped through his legs and shattered the stumps. He fell short of 90 runs in smacking his maiden Test ton and a much needed one. Asad Shafiq was promoted up in the batting order at three and the reliable right-handed batsman played well for his 33.

Younis Khan has been ruled out of the Test due to fever, which Shafiq an opportunity to bat up the order. He’s been one of their key players in this format but since the game being played at home, Pakistan won’t miss him dearly as they have enough back up. They have some serious batting to come and batsmen who can score runs at brisk pace. The platform has been laid and the stage is set for them to pile a huge score as West Indies bowlers looked bereft of oomph on Day 1. They need to overcome a huge barrier and need some miraculous performance to dismantle Pakistan.

There was some turn in the surface but Devendra Bishoo failed to hit the right areas and Pakistani batsmen were also too good against the spin. West Indies bowlers were pretty ordinary out in the middle, they hardly caused any discomfort for the batsman at the crease. Though the pitch was flat and the pink ball didn’t do much of a movement but one just can’t deny the kind of pressure visitors failed to build. In fact, the only wicket chipped was that too by a part-time spinner, Roston Chase, which pretty much speaks about the kind of day their bowlers had. PAkistan batted with utmost ease and made good use of the batting friendly surface. They will look to resume their batting from where they left on Day 2 and post a massive total on the board in their first innings.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first on a surface, which looked conducive for batting. The top-order fired and didn’t give any room for error as a result of which they remained unbeaten at Supper on Day 1. The pitch hardly has anything for the bowlers and looks extremely flat. Pakistan have got off to a good start and will look to make the most of it in the overs to come. Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali fired with all guns and are well placed at the end of second session.

Pakistan started off well and looked cautious right from the start. Sami Aslam played with immense confidence and piled some crucial runs at the top and so did Azhar Ali. They played with a lot of sense and punished the losse deliveries. Pakistan were in good position at the end of second session. The pink ball didn’t do anything specific that could have troubled the Pakistani batsmen. There was a little turn in the surface but the bowlers failed to exploit it. West Indies also wasted their two reviews as Jason Holder challenged the umpire’s decision after a delivery struck Azhar Ali’s pad but the replay showed it was missing the leg stump by a huge margin.

Ali and Aslam played some elegant shots and displayed some good batting at the top. They played to the merit of the ball and realised their need to bid time against the new ball. The first session was dominated by the duo and so the second one. Holder and Co. are giving it all but need to make certain amends or else the game will slip away from their hands. The pitch has assisted the batsmen and Pakistani batsmen are making the most of it.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan 279/1 in 90 overs (Sami Aslam 90, Azhar Ali 146*) against West Indies.

Full Scorecard.