Roach double strike stuns Pakistan

Kingston (Jamaica) (AFP) –


Kemar Roach struck twice for the West Indies after his team had taken a 36-run first innings lead over Pakistan on the third day of the first Test at Sabina Park on Saturday.

Shaheen Shah Afridi started well on his country's Independence Day in taking the last two West Indies first innings wickets to have the home side dismissed for 253.

But Roach then left the visitors in more than a little discomfort with a wicket in each of his two spells in the morning session to have Pakistan at 56 for two, a lead of 20 runs, going into the afternoon period of play.

Once again showing the value of his experience and accuracy, the Barbadian trapped Imran Butt leg-before without scoring.

After an increasingly promising 55-run stand between the other opener, Abid Ali, and former captain Azhar Ali, Roach then produced a sharp off-cutter to Azhar which clipped the right-hander's leg-stump as he shuffled too far across the crease off what proved to be the final ball of the morning.

While Azhar's reaction to the dismissal suggested that the ball had also kept lower than he anticipated, it was just reward for the persevering Roach who had earlier seen the normally safe pair of hands of Jason Holder spill a regulation catch at second slip off the same batsman.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam is expected to join Abid Ali (31 not out) at the crease when play resumes and on a surface which is already showing signs of wear.

On a bright, warm day, the visitors will be looking to their leader to play the type of innings, even if in a different style, shown by his West Indian counterpart, Kraigg Brathwaite, who anchored his team's first innings effort with a resolute 97.

There was certainly no lack of resolve from Shaheen Shah Afridi at the start of the day as he needed just ten deliveries to wrap up the West Indies innings after they resumed at 251 for eight.

He bowled Jomel Warrican comprehensively in the first over of the day and then earned an lbw verdict against Joshua da Silva in his second over to finish with figures of four for 59.