Chase and Dowrich keep West Indies afloat after Amir strikes

April 22, 2017

KNGSTON: West Indies’ middle and lower order came to their rescue in a big way as they recovered from a precarious 71 for 5 to end the opening day in Jamaica on 244 for 7. Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich added 118 for the sixth wicket after Mohammad Amir had made three breakthroughs either side of lunch as Pakistan threatened to take a firm hold on the match. Play was called off nine overs early, as the clouds that hovered above for much of the day finally impacted the light enough to convince the umpires to lead the players off after just one over with the new ball, but the final session had not been short of action. Chase and Dowrich, whose partnership started in the first over after lunch, took their stand to three figures but just as it looked like Pakistan were running out of ideas the breakthrough came via a miraculous diving catch on the boundary to dismiss Chase, with Wahab Riaz taking a stunning grab running towards the long-on boundary. The next ball, Dowrich was bowled by Yasir Shah as the visitors wrestled the advantage again, but some gutsy late hitting by Jason Holder and Devendra Bishoo ensured West Indies finished the day with some momentum, and a total to defend. Pakistan were on top for much of the first day, but West Indies produced a heartening response after looking as though they could unravel when Amir and debutant Mohammad Abbas were operating with the new ball. Abbas claimed a wicket with his second delivery in Test cricket as Kraigg Brathwaite edged to second slip where Younis Khan snared another catch, reminding Pakistan it wasn’t just his runs they were going to miss when he hangs up his bat at the end of this Test series. However, Abbas’ senior bowling partner was the man of the morning. Showing exquisite control, Amir produced one to dart back into the left-handed Shimron Hetmyer, one of two West Indians on debut. Hetmyer, who had for much of his short stay at the crease been chiefly concerned with Amir’s outswi-nger, was clearly unprepared for the change-up; Pakistan had almost begun celebrating by the time the his bat came down. Four overs later, Amir castled Shai Hope with his stock delivery, swinging into the right-hander and sending his off stump cartwheeling. Agencies