Chase leads fight but Windies stutter

ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Roston Chase extended his rich vein of form with a half-century but West Indies squandered opportunities to put the squeeze on Pakistan, on the third day of the decisive third Test at Windsor Park here yesterday.

Replying to Pakistan’s first innings of 376, West Indies closed on 218 for five, still requiring a further 158 runs to overhaul their target.

The right-handed Chase was at the centre of the Windies effort, carving out a fluent 60 before being forced to retire hurt when he was struck on the right hand by a delivery from pacer Mohammad Amir, in the second over following the final drinks break of the day.

He was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital for x-rays but the extent of the injury is not yet known.

Batsman Roston Chase salutes the crowd after reaching his half-century against Pakistan at Windsor Park on Friday. (Photo courtesy WICB Media)

Chase, who gathered a half-century in the Sabina Park first Test and a hundred in the second Test in Barbados, has so far faced 129 deliveries and counted five boundaries.

He got support from left-handed opener Kieran Powell who once again got a start but failed to carry on with 31, while Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope chipped in with 29 apiece.

Champion leg-spinner Yasir Shah carried Pakistan’s attack with three for 108.

Resuming the day on 14 without loss, the hosts made good progress with Powell and Brathwaite adding 43 for the first wicket to see the hosts safely through the first hour.

Powell, on nine at the start, struck two fours in an innings lasting 82 deliveries before becoming the first casualty of the day, caught at wide mid-on playing a loose stroke at Yasir in the third over after the first drinks break.

Shimron Hetmyer, in his third Test at 20, swept Yasir for four and then pulled him for six in successive overs to race to 17 off 18 balls but was adjudged caught at the wicket on review, after gaining favour with the initial decision.

Brathwaite and Hope then steadied the innings in a 28-run stand which appeared to be taking West Indies to the safety of lunch when Yasir struck a telling blow in the final over before the interval, getting Brathwaite to edge a defensive prod to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

On 97 for three at the break, West Indies flourished afterwards as Chase and Hope put Pakistan on the back foot with an enterprising 55-run fourth wicket partnership.

Chase was positive from the outset, dispatching the second ball after lunch for four off Yasir and then sweeping the same bowler fine a couple of overs later for another boundary.

Hope, on 15 at lunch, was more sedate after the resumption and enjoyed a slice of luck on 23 when Asad Shafiq dropped a difficult chance at point off Yasir.

With the partnership growing and tea approaching, West Indies conceded their momentum when Hope perished to the last ball before the break, driving slow bowler Azhar Ali to Misbah-ul-Haq at extra cover at 152 for four.

Chase, reprieved on 27 when he was given out caught at slip only for the decision to be overturned on review, took charge for West Indies after the interval and raised his third Test half-century in the eighth over after tea with a single to mid-off off Yasir.

Forced off at 183 for four after missing a pull at Amir and being struck on the hand, Chase’s misfortune was followed by Vishaul Singh’s demise three overs later with only six runs added when the left-hander was plumb lbw to Mohammad Abbas for eight.

Stumbling at 189 for five, West Indies were steadied by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich with 20 not out and captain Jason Holder, unbeaten on 11, the pair having so far posted 29.

Though both were watchful, Holder showed intent in the day’s final over when he lofted the third delivery from Yasir clean over the ropes at long off.

 

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