Victory in sight despite Windies wobble
The West Indies are just 39 runs away from a rare Test victory in the third and final match of the series against Pakistan in Sharjah.
The visitors had earlier bowled Pakistan out for 208 to leave themselves chasing 153 to win.
Pakistan resumed the day on 87 for 4 with the Test hanging in the balance, but the lack of focus that has plagued the hosts in this Test persisted into the fourth day.
Azhar Ali and Sarfraz Ahmed looked like they might put Pakistan on top as they advanced the hosts from 87 for 4 overnight to 134, before the keeper tamely guided a Devendra Bishoo delivery into the hands of Darren Bravo at slip to depart for 42.
Azhar and Mohammad Nawaz (19) would add 41 for the sixth wicket but the latter’s dismissal would spark a collapse from Pakistan.
It was Bishoo who got the breakthrough again, turning one into Nawaz taking a faint edge before thudding into the pad and being well taken by Leon Johnson at short leg.
Azhar (91) was the next to go and joined an ever growing list of Pakistan batsmen to suffer soft dismissals, he came forward to Bishoo and didn’t quite get there before flicking his bat at the ball to present a tame catch to Bravo in the slips.
Mohammad Amir provided us with our daily dose of tragic comedy as he took on long on with his team in trouble only to be caught in the deep by Roston Chase, the fielder had to throw the ball back into play though before the catch was completed as he was falling over the ropes, while all this was going on Amir was rooted to the crease admiring his shot and then set off for a run, Chase throws and Holder does well to come across and grab the ball in front of the stumps breaking them at the moment when Amir loses his bat leaving the quick short of his ground.
Johnson took another fine catch at short leg to send Wahab Riaz packing for one off the bowling of Holder and leave Pakistan 193 for 9.
Zulfiqar Babar struck some lusty blows that got Pakistan past 200 before Holder trapped Yasir Shah leg before to end the Pakistan innings on 208.
Holder finished with figures of 5/30, his best in Test cricket and his first five for.
Tasked with chasing just 153 the West Indies set about making a meal of their chase.
Kraigg Brathwaite continued his resolute watch from the first innings and would end the day unbeaten on 44.
At the other end the West Indies struggled to maintain their composure, Johnson was dropped twice before a skidding delivery from Yasir saw him trapped leg before for 12 and the jitters set in.
Bravo (3) and Marlon Samuels fell victim to the wiles of Yasir who would end the day with figures of 3/30 as the West Indies slumped to 57 for 3 and the jitters grew into full blown panic.
Wahab made the most of the West Indies fragility and produced a venomous spell that brought him the wickets of Jermaine Blackwood (4) and Chase (2) and Pakistan had their tails up.
Shane Dowrich would calm the Windies nerves though as he moved steadily to 36 and along with the rock that is Brathwaite has left the West Indies on the brink of victory with their score at 114/5 just 39 runs from a rare win.
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