Dubai: Rival captains Misbah-ul-Haq and Jason Holder praised the fight till last attitude in the first day-night Test played in Asia with Pakistan upstaging West Indies by 56 runs in the final hour on Monday.
West Indies were led in their fight by Darren Bravo who smashed 116 during his 410-minute of defiance before Pakistan dismissed them for 289 with just 12 overs remaining in the match — the second ever in Test cricket’s history.
Misbah said the match was good for Test cricket. “It was a good Test and good for the Test cricket with everything in it,” said Misbah after the victory. “You need Test matches like that and credit to West Indies to put such a fight.”
Pakistan had amassed 579-3 declared in their first innings courtesy an epic 302 not out by opener Azhar Ali.
West Indies conceded a 222-run first innings lead, but hit back hard by dismissing Pakistan for a paltry 123 in their second knock, thanks to a career best 8-49 by leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.
Misbah praised Bravo for giving Pakistan a scare. “West Indies batsmen showed good resilience and credit must be given to them,” said Misbah of the rival team who batted for 109 overs on a last day Dubai stadium pitch.
This was the longest batting by a West Indies team in the fourth innings of a Test since their 105.1 over innings against India in Kolkata in 1978.
Misbah admitted he was nervous and worried, with just 100 needed and Bravo at the crease. “Only I know how I spent time on the fourth day and in the last session on the last day. It was tough for the team as well as for the captain.
“You were ahead of them for three days, but in one session he [Bravo] gave the advantage to them,” said Misbah of the laft-hander who was smartly caught by leg-spinner Yasir Shah with just 83 needed.
Shah finished with seven wickets in the match and during the first innings became the joint-second fastest to take 100 Test wickets.
Misbah said dew did not allow the Dubai stadium pitch to deteriorate. “There were different factors which supported the batsmen, the pink ball and dew,” he added. “Usually Dubai pitch deteriorates after second day but this time the pitch was bind again because of the dew but in the end it ended in our win.
The 42-year-old, who won his 23rd Test as a captain out of 47 matches, also hail the triumph in the 400th Test as a ‘special victory’.”It is special victory, our 400th Test, first with pink ball, our first day-night match so it was important to get a victory here.”
On the other hand, Holder said there were positives despite defeat. “Obviously I am disappointed that we have lost but there are lot of positives,” said Holder. “One thing is that we fought till the end and it was a good team effort unfortunately we did not cross the line.”
Holder singled out Bravo’s knocks and praised the stylish left-hander, who made 87 in the first and nearly match-winning 116 in the second innings. “It was a quality innings as he showed a lot of maturity in both innings and you could see determination on his face and hopefully he continues in this vein,” said Holder of Bravo.
The second Test starts in Abu Dhabi from Friday with the third and final Test to be played in Sharjah from October 30-November 3.