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Woeful Windies

Holder's troops suffer eighth straight defeat in UAE

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – West Indies’ nightmarish run against Pakistan showed no imminent sign of abating as they slumped to a 133-run defeat in the second Test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium Tuesday, to concede the three-match series 2-0 with one more to play.

Resuming the final day on 171 for four in pursuit of an improbable 456 for victory, the Caribbean side were dismissed for 322 in their second innings, 45 minutes before tea to suffer their eighth straight loss on the ill-fated tour. They have already been whitewashed 3-0 in both the preceding One-Day and Twenty20 Internationals.

Jermaine Blackwood provided most of West Indies’ fight on  another day of  batting disappointment.

Jermaine Blackwood provided most of West Indies’ fight on another day of batting disappointment.

Jermaine Blackwood narrowly missed out on his second Test hundred with 95 and Shai Hope got a Test-best 41 but West Indies found the burden of a record run chase too onerous, and lost their last six wickets for 151 runs.

Man-of-the-Match leg-spinner Yasir Shah was again the destroyer for Pakistan, claiming six for 124 to finish with match figures of 10 for 210 – his second 10-wicket haul in a fledgling 18-Test career that has already brought him 112 wickets.

Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar chipped in with two for 51.

The defeat for West Indies followed their 56-run loss in the historic day/night opening Test in Dubai eight days ago. The beleaguered side have now lost 10 of their last 13 Tests without a single win, and are without a series victory in three years.

Beginning the day with the odds heavily stacked against them especially with 285 runs required for victory, West Indies’ only sign of fight came when Blackwood and Hope added 57 for the sixth wicket, and Hope and tail-ender Devendra Bishoo (26) put on a further 45 for the eighth wicket.

But once Blackwood fell about half-hour before lunch, any hopes of saving the game perished with him, as the last five wickets tumbled for a mere 78 runs.

Involved in a 47-run, fifth wicket stand overnight, Blackwood and Roston Chase could only extend their partnership by a further 16 runs before being separated.

Chase, starting the day on 17, added just three before edging a forward defensive push at Yasir, into the gloves of Sarfraz Ahmed about 40 minutes into the morning.

Hopes were briefly raised when Blackwood and Hope combined in a positive stand, which allowed the visitors to have the better of the exchanges over the next hour.

Blackwood faced 127 balls in three hours at the crease and struck 11 fours while Hope counted four boundaries in an innings spanning 93 balls and just over 2-¼ hours.

Resuming the morning on 41, Blackwood whipped left-arm seamer Rahat Ali to the mid-on boundary in the first over and reached his ninth Test half-century five overs later, when he drilled Yasir to long off for a single.

He continued to play his usually aggressive game, hitting seamer Sohail Khan to the straight boundary and then pulling Yasir through mid-wicket for another four, to move into the 80s.

Two sweetly-timed cover driven boundaries off Sohail in his first over with the new ball saw Blackwood into the 90s but with three figures beckoning, he played down the wrong line to Yasir and was bowled with lunch approaching.

West Indies then suffered another vital blow in the penultimate over before the break when captain Jason Holder played back to Yasir and was plumb lbw for 16.

On 272 for seven at the interval, Hope and Bishoo kept Pakistan wicket-less for an hour afterward before the final collapse set in.

On the stroke of the first drinks break, Hope was caught at slip by Younis Khan, trying to pull out of a defensive shot to one from Zulfiqar that spun.

Five balls after the resumption, Miguel Cummins gave Yasir his 10th wicket in the game when he missed a push and was bowled middle stump without scoring and Bishoo’s demise came soon after, caught at mid-wicket off Zulfiqar.

The final Test bowls off in Sharjah on Sunday.

Source: (CMC)

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