West Indies vs Pakistan, 2nd Test: Day 1 report
Pakistan regained control after losing early wickets on Day 1 of the second Test against the West Indies at Sabina Park. Skipper Babar Azam and Fawad Alam steadied the ship for the visitors after they were reduced to 2/3. Meanwhile, Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf provided further solidity toward the day's end. Kemar Roach was the pick of West Indies bowlers.
Pakistan stumbled at the start after the West Indies invited them to bat. They lost the top-three, Abid Ali, Imran Butt, and Azhar Ali, for just two runs. Thereafter, Babar and Alam shared a 166-run stand to rescue Pakistan. While Babar departed on 75, the latter retired hurt upon struggling from cramps. Pakistan eventually finished on 212/4 at stumps on Day 1.
Babar raced to his 18th Test fifty after Pakistan were in hot water. He faced the heat as the Caribbean bowlers were on top in the morning session. Babar smashed 75 off 174 balls, a knock studded with 13 fours. Meanwhile, Alam scored 76 (149) before retiring hurt. The 166-run partnership between them helped Pakistan gain momentum.
Rizwan and Ashraf survived the final hour of Day 1 as both Babar and Alam departed. Rizwan (22*) played meticulously, while Ashraf (23*) was more on the attacking side. The duo took the visitors past 200 eventually.
The WI fast bowlers were on the money at the start. Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales mowed down Pakistan's top-order before the former struck again. Roach emerged as the standout bowler, having picked up three wickets (Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, and Babar). Seales claimed a solitary scalp, while the rest remained wicket-less. Notably, Jason Holder conceded just 25 runs in 15 overs.
The two sides struggled on the opening day due to scorching heat in Jamaica. Just like Alam, who retired hurt on 76, Joshua da Silva also suffered cramps and gave the keeping gloves to Jahmar Hamilton.