West Indies’ hopes of finishing a disappointing tour with a consolation victory over Pakistan were boosted on the third day of the third Test in Sharjah.
Defeat in the first two Tests condemned the Windies to a series loss, following on from 3-0 defeats in the one-day and Twenty20 formats.
But Kraigg Brathwaite’s efforts with the bat were followed by a good bowling display to put them in a strong position in the final match in the UAE.
Brathwaite became just the fifth West Indian to carry his bat in a Test with an unbeaten 142 in the tourists’ total of 337.
And Pakistan closed on 87 for four in their second innings, a lead of only 31 runs.
The Windies resumed on 244 for six, with Brathwaite five runs short of a century. He wasted no time reaching the landmark, hitting a four off the first ball and then a two later on in the opening over to bring up his fifth Test ton.
The opener received good support from captain Jason Holder (16) and, in particular, Devendra Bishoo, with whom he put on 60 before the spinner was out for 27.
Wahab Riaz eventually unlocked the West Indies tail, following the wicket of Bishoo by snaring Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel to complete a five-wicket haul and bring the innings to a close.
Pakistan’s second innings began steadily enough until Holder claimed three wickets in as many overs.
Sami Aslam, Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan all fell to the paceman and, when Misbah-ul-Haq holed out to Roston Chase in the deep off the bowling of Bishoo, Pakistan were 48 for four, still eight runs behind.
Azhar Ali (45 not out) and Sarfraz Ahmed (19no) stemmed the flow and ensured Pakistan reached the close without further loss, but there is a lot of work still to be done.