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Third Test: Pakistan 87/4 at stumps Day 3

SHARJAH: One of the better days for West Indies as Pakistan look in trouble after losing the plot early in the second innings of third Test. They were 87/4 at stumps Day 3.

Earlier in the day, centurion Kraigg Brathwaite’s unbeaten 142 off 318 steered West Indies to a hard-earned first-innings lead of 56, and then skipper Jason Holder made three breakthroughs in a lively spell as West Indies had their tails up after tea on day three.

Pakistan started their second innings, being in the deficit for the first time in the series, lost four wickets before erasing the trail.

Vice captain Azhar Ali, who earnd a duck in the first innings and Sarfraz Ahmed stabilised the innings with an unbroken 39-run fifth-wicket partnership that warded off further losses and took Pakistan to 87 for 4 by stumps.

After a 60-run eighth wicket partnership between Brathwaite and Devendra Bishoo propelled West Indies to 337, Holder made quick inroads into Pakistan’s top order with a short-ball barrage after tea. He bowled a pacy bouncer to Sami Aslam that the batsmen could only top-edge to fine leg.

Another well-directed bouncer got big on Asad Shafiq and had him fending straight to Darren Bravo at gully. Then Younis Khan got a faint tickle on a leg-side delivery to give Holder his third. When Misbah-ul-Haq pulled Roston Chase straight to Bishoo at deep-backward square, Pakistan had lost four wickets for 11 runs to slip to 48 for 4.

It could have been even better for West Indies. With Pakistan’s score at 71, Shannon Gabriel bowled a nasty, steep bouncer at Sarfraz, batting on 9, who fended it to Bravo at slip.

But Gabriel had overstepped – for the 26th time in the series – and Sarfraz survived. He moved on to 19 by stumps, while Azhar had compiled 45. But with Pakistan’s lead still only 31 at the close of play, they were a long way from safety and heavily dependent on Azhar and Sarfraz to get them there.