First Test of the three-match series between Pakistan and West Indies in Dubai turned out to be an unexpected thriller, as cricket’s most mundane form reignited the much needed competition, as West Indian fight-back brought reminisce of yesteryear.
Pakistan won the match but there are lessons to be learnt:
Number One: Respect the opposition
Pakistan to date has remained the dominant side throughout the ongoing tour, whitewashing the West Indies in both T20I and One Day International’s (ODI).
However, in the last two days of the first Test match, the shift in power become evident after Pakistan lost quick wickets in their second innings, as batsmen continue to play loose shots. Davendra Bishoo was therefore presented with a career best eight wickets package.
Number Two: No shortage of batting masters in West Indies
The test match is to be best remembered for Azhar’s triple ton, but none could argue it was Darren Bravo, who changed the complexion of the game, as he scored an important ton (116 runs) to liven up the hopes of an unexpected win for the visitors.
Number Three: Pakistan finally got a stable top order
Pakistan’s top order has always been a major concern for national side. Azhar Ali was remarkable at the top hitting his maiden triple century, enjoying a massive partnership with Sami Aslam.
The inclusion of Sami Aslam has brought a much needed stability in the shape of a well tempered batsman. The right-hander played important knocks in both innings; hitting 90 runs in the first, sharing a record double ton opening stand with Azhar Ali, and more importantly he was the top scorer in the second with a hard fought 44 runs.
Number Four: Aamir finally among wickets
Despite bowling wholeheartedly, Muhammad Aamir remained a silent spectator in the first inning, as spinners wrapped up the visitors for 357. But exploded in the second innings, as he knocked off the West Indian top order and took the important wicket of hard hitting Marlon Samuel. He ended up taking three wickets.
Number Five: Yasir’s 100 wickets, brilliant catch
Yasir Shah is the most talked about leg spinner in the cricketing world right now, and there are good reasons for it. The leggie grabbed five wickets in the first inning, becoming the fastest Asian to the 100th wicket milestone.
He further proved his worth in the second innings, after he took the all important wicket of West Indies mainstay Darren Bravo thanks to a stunning catch off his own bowling.