WI vs PAK Test: West Indies has started out on their ICC World Test Championship campaign on a starry note, winning their first game against Pakistan by one wicket at Sabina Park.
The incredible match win was thanks to the No. 9 and the No. 11 player, who gave a fitting end to the nail-biting game. Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales took it upon themselves to save the battered West Indies team and battled to the very end, coming out victorious to give the team a perfect match finish. West Indies pacer Kemar Roach takes enough credit for steering the team to victory as he played a vital unbeaten knock of 30 runs.
For him, the innings was probably his best given he acknowledged the stint as his ‘biggest thing’.
“I have never been in a situation like that before, batting with the tail,” Kemar Roach said after the match. “I am part of the tail, so for me, it was to go out there and believe. That was the biggest thing – to believe and stay positive – and it worked, and I give thanks.”
Roach imparted his wisdom gained from a 13-year long career to the youngster Jayden Seales, with whom he stitched a last-wicket partnership in the four high-pressure overs that happened to be the turning point of the match.
“The plan was to just stay positive. That’s me,” Roach said. “I was just trying to take on every ball as it came. This is by far the most important innings so far. I was just trying to pick the gaps and run hard. My advice to Jayden was just to protect the stumps. The biggest threat is the straight ball. He did it very well. He is a star for the future. His five wickets today speaks wonders about our cricket. All the best to him, and I wish him a great career!”
Seales made the most crucial contribution to the West Indies victory. He returned figures of 5-55 on Saturday. He picked up eight wickets while holding the fort alongside batting with Kemar Roach. Consequently, the bowler earned the much-deserved Man-of-the-Match award. It also left him speechless. “Test cricket has been a dream come true for me,” said the 19-year old, who became the youngest West Indies bowler to take a five-wicket haul in Test cricket, during the match presentation.
WI vs PAK Test: 1st Test Match Highlights
West Indies did not get off to a good start as they struggled to find the rhythm. The team kept losing early wickets as, by the time they completed 68 runs, they were already four men down. Captain Kraigg Braithwaite, who played an impressive knock of 97 runs in the first innings, was the second to fall.
Jermaine Blackwood played a much-required 55 runs knock in 78 balls to help take the tally of the scorecard to 111 for 6. Still, 54 runs away from victory, the hosts also lost Jason Holder (16) and the team was reduced to seven for 114. An incredible catch from Mohammad Rizwan removed the next in line Joshua de Silva (13), seemingly thrashing all hopes for the hosts. Pakistan bowlers were in glaring form, with Hasan Ali taking three wickets and Shaheen Shah Afridi claiming four. Faheem Ashraf also took two important wickets to paralyse the batting line-up.
While Pakistan was on the brink of victory, Roach and Seales entered the scene at 151/9. Little did the visitors know that their 17-run stand will turn the tables for them so dramatically. That did not come easy though as Roach was granted a second lifeline when Rizwan missed his catch off of a Hasan Ali delivery. Roach realised it very well that it only meant his purpose was to take away nothing but victory for the team. He danced away with the victory, completing 168 runs alongside Seales.
However, the Pakistan bowlers deserve a lot of credit. Hasan Ali gave an all-round performance, returning figures of (3-37) while scoring 28 from 26 balls at No. 9. The day was meant for West Indies though, which they earned through sheer grit and determination.
Brief Scores: West Indies 253 (Brathwaite 97, Holder 58, Afridi 4-59) and 168 for 9 (Blackwood 55, Roach 30*, Afridi 4-50); Pakistan 217 (Fawad 56, Holder 3-26, Seales 3-70) and 203 (Azam 55, Seales 5-55, Roach 3-30)
Result: West Indies beat Pakistan by one wicket (WI take a 1-0 series lead)
The two teams will next lock horns in the second and the final match of their two-match Test series on Friday.
WI vs PAK Test 2021 squad:
Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice-Captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Jomel Warrican
Travelling Reserves: Shamarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder