first_imgTHE FUTURE of the opening Test of the Haier Cup looks ‘pink’ for Pakistan, as they dominated the West Indies on the opening day of the second-ever day/night Test match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium yesterday.A record opening stand of 215 between Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali left the West Indies limping at the end of the day, as Pakistan closed on 279 for one. Ali was unbeaten on 146, while Aslam made 90 and Asad Shafiq not out 33.The West Indies cricketers were made to chase the pink ball for the entire afternoon and into the night, as the experiment of playing the longest format of the game from 15:30hrs looked promising.During the afternoon fans were seen coming to the ground with their families and this was one of the benefits of staging the match at this time of day. While the crowd dynamics changed, the West Indies’ problems since arriving in the UAE a month now, did not, as they continued to suffer against the world-ranked number two Test side.Earlier, West Indies lost the toss and without hesitation the Pakistanis decided to take first strike. Openers Aslam and Ali ran out looking to give their team a good foundation. The aim was to take the West Indies bowlers out of the game early and pile on the pressure, leading to a big score and the ultimate scoreboard pressure.When tea was taken after two hours’ play, the effort was well employed to build a huge total and the construction was underway. After 10 overs the pink ball stopped swinging and it was a hard grind for the West Indies thereafter.During the warm-up games, the bowlers were able to get the ball to seam around just after tea but Shannon Gabriel and Miguel Cummins could not reproduce that.After the break it was the same story as the Pakistanis continued to send leather to all parts of the field and some tired-looking West Indian legs were in pursuit. Aslam was the first of the batsmen to reach fifty. He did it off 105 balls with five fours. Ali then recorded his off 115 balls with five fours as well.The experienced Lahore batsman turned up the heat on the West Indies after the milestone and raced to his 11th Test hundred in his 50th Test match. His century came off 184 balls with 10 hits to the fence and in the process he joined a very elite group of Pakistani stroke-players.A wicket seemed impossible to come by with the closest option looking to be a run-out, as Ali and Aslam gave chances with their running between the sticks.The breakthrough finally came after 67.5 overs, when Aslam enjoying his Test-best of 90, swept at Roston Chase, only to hear the dreaded sound of timber falling behind him. His effort came in 290 minutes in which time he negotiated 212 balls and struck nine fours.The rock-solid Asad Shafiq then joined Ali and they continued to play good Test cricket, rotating the strike and putting the bad balls away efficiently. When stumps were drawn Ali had batted for 366 minutes, faced 268 balls and struck 14 boundaries.SCOREBOARDPAKISTAN vs WEST INDIESPAKISTAN 1st inningsS. Aslam b Chase 90Az. Ali not out 146A. Shafiq not out 33Extras: (b-1, lb-2, nb-6, w-1) 10Total: (for 1 wicket, 90 overs) 279Fall of wickets: 1-215.Bowling: S. Gabriel 14-2-55-0 (nb-6), M. Cummins 16-2-62-0 (w-1), J. Holder 15-4-30-0, K. Brathwaite 8-2-21-0, D. Bishoo 16-3-45-0, R. Chase 21-2-63-1.last_img

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