Six wickets of separation for Pakistan as victory nears in Abu Dhabi

Pakistan will be full of confidence entering the fifth day of the second Test in the UAE that they can West Indies' six remaining wickets, as the tourists chase another 285 runs.

West Indies' batsman Leon Johnson, right, is bowled out during the fourth day of the second Test against Pakistan on Monday. Aamir Qureshi / AFP / October 24, 2016
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Abu Dhabi // Pakistan pressed West Indies hard for a series-clinching win in the second Test after setting a daunting 456-run target on the fourth day in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

By close of play Pakistan had taken four wickets at 171 leaving the West Indies to bat out the final day on Tuesday or score a further 285 runs with six wickets intact for an unlikely win.

No team has ever chased down more than the 418 for seven West Indies managed against Australia at Antigua 13 years ago, and on a weary last day pitch they will need a huge effort to stop Pakistan from taking an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Pakistan won the first Test – a day-night affair played with the pink ball – by 56 runs in Dubai.

Pakistan had declared their second innings on 227 for two at lunch, with Asad Shafiq unbeaten on 58 (his 16th Test half century) and Younis Khan on 29 to give their bowlers enough time to force a win.

At close, Jermaine Blackwood was unbeaten on 41 and with him Roston Chase 17 not out as the two foiled Pakistan’s bowling during an unbroken 47-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Blackwood and Chase will have to repeat their performances against India at Jamaica in August where they resumed the last day and earned a draw. The duo carried the fight initiated by opener Kraigg Brathwaite, who scored a fighting 67 with six boundaries and a six.

Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels (23) had added 49 for the third wicket but both fell in the space of 12 runs. Samuels gave a return catch to leg-spinner Yasir Shah while Brathwaite was trapped leg-before wicket by Mohammed Nawaz.

West Indies’ task of saving the Test was made even more difficult after they lost Leon Johnson (nine) and Darren Bravo (13) with the total on 63.

Johnson tried to sweep a delivery from Shah only to drag it on to his stumps after hitting the bat and glove. Bravo, who scored a fighting 116 in Dubai, slashed a drive off fast bowler Rahat Ali straight to point where Nawaz held a head high catch.

Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed said: “We would have liked five down instead of four.

“But we are in a commanding position and are sure that we will win the match tomorrow.”

Earlier, Pakistan added 113 runs in the first session to set up their declaration. Shafiq (58) scored his second fifty of the match after Azhar Ali was dismissed for 79. Azhar hit five boundaries during his 137-ball stay at the crease.

* Agence France-Presse

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