Roseau - Pakistan won a thrilling third and final Test with
six balls to spare to clinch a first series victory in the West Indies on
Sunday and give a fitting farewell to the retiring captain Misbah ul Haq and
veteran Younis Khan.
Roston Chase's unbeaten 101, his second hundred of the
series, proved in vain as the home side, set a target of 303 at Windsor Park in
Dominica, slipped to 93 for six before the lower order almost rescued a
"This was just incredible," said a breathless
Misbah after Shannon Gabriel dragged a wide delivery from Yasir Shah onto his
stumps with just six balls left in the game to trigger Pakistani celebrations
as the West Indies were dismissed for 202 to lose the series 2-1.
"There were so many things happening in that last
session - dropped catches, appeals, no-ball dismissals - it looked for a while
as if it wasn't going to happen.
"I am thankful for myself, the team and all supporters
of Pakistan cricket that we were able to pull it off."
Chase, who also top scored in the first innings with 69 and
earned the man-of-the-match award, was the prime beneficiary of those
Twice he saw caught-and-bowled attempts by Hasan Ali put
down and then was reprieved on 91 when an edge to Asad Shafiq at slip off
Mohammad Abbas was shown to be off a no-ball.
"I'm really disappointed that we couldn't hold on for
just one more over," said a crestfallen Chase.
"We have showed that we can compete with the best but
it's up to us to be able to take it all the way. It doesn't even matter that I
got a hundred."
In the end he completed his third Test century but was left
helpless at the non-striker's end when Gabriel, who had defended resolutely for
21 balls, inexplicably attempted a wild drive off Shah and dragged the ball
back onto his stumps.
Shah finished with five for 92 and a series haul of 25
wickets, the highest of his career, as he took the man of the series award.
From their mid-afternoon perils, a 58-run seventh-wicket
partnership between Chase and Jason Holder frustrated Pakistan for an
hour-and-a-half, until the West Indies captain missed a knee-high full toss
from Hasan Ali to be leg before for 22 just after tea.
Devendra Bishoo and Alzarri Joseph also offered some
resistance but it was Gabriel's defiance through eight nerve-jangling overs
with Chase that almost took the West Indies to safety and a drawn series.
A swift end to the match had looked likely as Vishaul Singh
and Shane Dowrich both fell to Shah just after lunch.
Both were taken at short-leg by Babar Azam and on a pitch
offering turn and bounce, it appeared only a matter of time before more wickets
But Chase and Holder batted with calm assurance as the
Pakistanis grew increasingly impatient in pursuit of the breakthrough.
Such anxieties appeared unlikely at the start of the day.
Having already lost the wicket of Kieran Powell overnight, the home side
suffered two further setbacks inside the first hour of the morning.
Kraigg Brathwaite's poor run of form continued when the
opening batsman miscued an attempted cut off Shah for Hasan Ali to take the
comfortable catch at backward point.
Shimron Hetmyer batted positively for 25 but was then
comprehensively bowled by Mohammad Amir for the third time in the series.
Chase then joined Shai Hope with the pair defying all the
challenges presented to them by the Pakistani attack until Hasan Ali got the
breakthrough and his first Test wicket 20 minutes before lunch, trapping Hope
leg-before with a full-length inswinger.
His two additional wickets in that pulsating final session
were critical to the victory.