Abbas double strike puts West Indies on back foot in first Test
Mohammad Abbas celebrates the dismissal of Nkrumah Bonner of West Indies during day 1 of the 1st Test between West Indies and Pakistan at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica.–AFP
Two wickets in two balls by Mohammad Abbas just before the close of play put the West Indies immediately on the back foot in reply to Pakistan's first innings total of 217 on the rain-affected opening day of the first Test at Sabina Park on Thursday.
At 2-2 going into the second day, with captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Roston Chase set to resume the innings, the home side will be mindful of the repeated batting capitulations they endured in being thrashed in a similar two-Test duel with South Africa two months earlier in St Lucia.
Abbas put the seal on a bowlers' day by having Kieran Powell well taken low at second slip and then trapping Nkrumah Bonner leg before next ball in a testing final 20 minutes of play.
It was Bonner's first Test innings since his brief appearance on the opening day of the South Africa series when he was forced to retire hurt after being struck flush on the helmet first ball by fast bowler Anrich Nortje.
Kemar Roach lifted his tally of Test wickets to 225 in his 66th match by removing Imran Butt after half-an-hour's play and then added the important wicket of Pakistan captain Babar Azam.
Babar and former skipper Azhar Ali put on 47 for the third wicket with Azhar capturing much of the attention in the afternoon session for a bizarre succession of reprieves via referrals to the television technology with four consecutive decisions going the way of the batsman.
However it was the combined effort of left-handers Fawad Alam (56) and Faheem Ashraf (44) which gave the innings some substance.
The pair put on 85 for the sixth wicket only to be separated by a run out when Ashraf was found short of his ground by square-leg fielder Chase when seeking to complete a sharp single.
As well as the West Indies bowled on the first day pitch, the conditions were a bit of a surprise for them.
"It was a little slower than I expected it to be so I had to bowl a lot fuller and make the batsmen play a lot more," said Holder.
"I think it is going to be difficult up front with the bowlers they have available. We can look at the application showed by Faheem and Fawad and take pattern from that."
On a day when 12 wickets fell, it was the four occasions in quick succession when Azhar survived to fight on early in the post-lunch period which proved most memorable.
Twice he was reprieved by reviewing the on-field umpire's decision against him and two more times Brathwaite was unsuccessful in having not out decisions overturned via the available television technology.
Holder was the unfortunate bowler on the first three occasions while Kyle Mayers was the other man left particularly aggrieved.
Ironically, it was Holder who then held a good low catch at second slip to dismiss Azhar for 17 off Seales.
Pakistan 1st Innings
Imran Butt b Roach 11
Abid Ali c da Silva b Seales 9
Azhar Ali c Holder b Seales 17
Babar Azam c da Silva b Roach 30
Fawad Alam b Holder 56
Mohammad Rizwan c Chase b Holder 23
Faheem Ashraf run out 44
Yasir Shah c da Silva b Mayers 0
Hasan Ali c Mayers b Seales 14
Shaheen Shah Afridi not out 0
Mohammad Abbas c da Silva b Holder 0
Extras (b4, lb5, nb4) 13
Total (70.3 overs, all out) 217
Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Imran Butt), 2-21 (Abid Ali), 3-68 (Azhar Ali), 4-68 (Babar Azam), 5-101 (Mohammad Rizwan), 6-186 (Faheem Ashraf), 7-190 (Yasir Shah), 8-217 (Hasan Ali), 9-217 (Fawad Alam), 10-217 (Mohammad Abbas)
Bowling: Roach 16-4-47-2, Seales 16-3-70-3 (3nb), Mayers 14-5-28-1 (1nb), Holder 15.3-3-26-3, Chase 8-1-33-0, Warrican 1-0-4-0
West Indies 1st Innings
K. Brathwaite not out 1
K. Powell c Abid Ali b Mohammad Abbas 0
N. Bonner lbw b Mohammad Abbas 0
R. Chase not out 0
Extras (b1) 1
Total (4 overs, 2 wkts) 2
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Powell), 2-1 (Bonner)
To bat: K. Mayers, J. Blackwood, J. Holder, J. da Silva, K. Roach, J. Seales, J. Warrican
Bowling: Mohammad Abbas 2-2-0-2, Shaheen Shah Afridi 1-1-0-0, Yasir Shah 1-0-1-0
Toss: West Indies
Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite (WIS), Joel Wilson (WIS)
Match Referee: Richie Richardson (WIS)