Hostile Gabriel helps Windies level series

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 May 2017 09:23:37


BRIDGETOWN,

THE Test had to show its hand sometime, after four days of being as finely balanced. And this was the ground that had seen some sensational collapses on the last day. It was in 1997 when Sachin Tendulkar’s India had been routed for 81 in chase of a mere 120.


Twenty years later it was Pakistan that met the same fate — all out 81 while chasing 188.
Architect of this sensation West Indies win was a hostile Shannon Gabriel. His five-for was the sucker-punch that West Indies needed to level the series. And rallying around him were skipper Jason Holder (3 wkts) and Alzarri Joseph (2 wkts)
Pakistan’s famously suspect batting order put their name on an unwanted list.


Gabriel led the West Indies fast bowling assault that decimated Pakistan.
At lunch they had been reduced to 35 for five. And the ever-improving Windies pacer needed just 14.4 overs more to bundle out the other five.


Pakistan had been set a victory target of 188 at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday.
Yasir Shah claimed the final wicket of the home side’s second innings in the first over of the day to finish with seven for 94 in the innings and nine for 177 in the match.


However that proved to be the only high point of the session for the visitors who struggled to cope with a disciplined pace attack on a pitch that occasionally exaggerated the worries of the Pakistani batsmen who now require 153 runs to win.
Gabriel started the rout with the wicket of first innings century-maker Azhar Ali as the opening batsman miscued an attempted pull for Shimron Hetmyer to take a diving catch at mid-wicket.