Kemar Roach, aided by Jermaine Blackwood's fighting 55 and West Indies' tail enders, pulled off a stunning one-wicket win over Pakistan in the first Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Sunday (August 15).
After three days of frustrating rain on a difficult green top, a total of 14 wickets fell on the fourth day under blazing hot conditions which looked like going Pakistan's way initially. Skipper Babar Azam (55) and Faheem Ashraf (20) walked to the middle with a second innings lead of 124 runs when Roach made early inroads by dismissing Faheem to a brilliant keeper catch by wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva. Kyle Mayers then got Babar with a keeper catch to push the visitors on the back foot.
Teenager Jayden Seales then took control of the situation as he dismissed Yasir Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi in quick succession. Hasan Ali added a valuable 26 off 28 balls (2x4, 2x6) to take Pakistan's lead past the 150 mark before returning as the final wicket in Seales' bowling. With his career-best figures of 5-55, 19-year old Seales became the youngest West Indies bowler to claim a Test fifer.
Set a target of 168, West Indies walked in under the hot sun as Shaheen Shah Afridi added to the blaze with a breathtaking first spell. The left-arm pacer removed Kieron Powell (4) after a remarkable three reviews in the same over and then got the important wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite for a keeper catch. Shaheen claimed his third wicket when Nkrumah Bonner (5) chopped one on to his stumps to leave West Indies reeling at 16/3.
Blackwood and Roston Chase then steadied the ship under harsh conditions by adding 67 runs for the fourth wicket before Faheem sent back Chase (22) and Mayers for a duck in the same over. Blackwood then reached his fifty after joined by Jason Holder (16) as the hosts crossed the hundred-run mark. However, Blackwood was back in the hut when Imran Butt took a brilliant diving catch at second slip off Hasan Ali who castled Holder just before tea to put the visitors three wickets away.
Da Silva (13 off 42 balls), joined by a cautious Kemar Roach, kept chipping away at the target as they added 28 runs for the eighth wicket before Shaheen removed Da Silva. With 17 runs to win, Jomel Warrican pulled Hasan Ali's bouncer behind the wicket as Pakistan keeper Mohammad Rizwan outran four fielders to pull off a stunning catch at the boundary. However, Seales (2* off 13 balls) kept his cool under immense pressure as he added 17 runs for the final wicket with Roach (30* off 52 balls), who hit the winning runs.
After being put in to bat by West Indies, Pakistan were all out for 217 in their first innings with Jason Holder and Seales claiming three wickets each. In reply, West Indies managed to take a slender lead of 26 runs as Shaheen claimed 4-59. Pakistan in their second innings, were all out for 203.
With the win, West Indies took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. The second Test will be played from August 20-24 at Sabina Park.