Abbas gives Pakistan upper hand in second West Indies Test

Kingston (Jamaica) (AFP) –


Mohammad Abbas triggered a collapse with a three-wicket burst in the last half-hour of the morning session as the West Indies slipped to 123 for eight at lunch in reply to Pakistan's first innings total of 302 for nine declared on the fourth day of the second Test of the two-match series on Monday.

Abbas, who had gone wicketless before his latest spell, dismissed Nkrumah Bonner and Kyle Mayers off successive balls before adding Joshua da Silva to his haul in the penultimate over before lunch.

That break arrived as welcome respite for a home side who now rely almost entirely on Jason Holder to chip away at the 179-run deficit heading into the afternoon session.

Holder will have Kemar Roach as his batting partner with only Jayden Seales, man of the match in the West Indies' pulsating one-wicket win in the first Test, also at Sabina Park, a week earlier, to follow.

Resuming from the overnight position of 39 for three, the hosts suffered an early setback when nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph became the third victim of Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Consistently the most effective of the tourists' bowlers in this brief series, the left-armer induced an edge from the tall right-hander for Pakistan captain Babar Azam to take a good catch at third slip.

West Indies then enjoyed their best period of batting with Bonner, the other overnight batsman, and Jermaine Blackwood putting on 60 for the fifth wicket although it was not without its moments of indecision and anxiety against a persevering Pakistan attack.

That persistence paid off when Bonner was drawn forward by Abbas and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan took the low catch to dismiss him for 37. Mayers lasted just one ball for the second time in three innings as he fell for his third consecutive "duck" courtesy of the Abbas-Rizwan double-act.

Shaheen then produced a sharp lifter which Blackwood (33) could only fend to gully where Fawad Alam held the diving catch before Abbas and Rizwan combined for the third time in a few minutes to end da Silva's brief tenure in the middle.

Shaheen's figures at the interval were four for 40 with Abbas having taken three for 26.

With more than four sessions of play already lost to rain and a sodden outfield over the weekend, the onus remains on Pakistan to ensure they claim a significant first innings lead in the early afternoon and then seek to build a sizeable overall advantage before pushing for a series-levelling victory on the final day on Tuesday.