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Windies win first home Test in two years

World Cricket

West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel plundered five wickets as they scored a stunning victory by bowling out Pakistan for 81 on the final day of the second Test in Barbados on Thursday.

Gabriel, bowling within himself with a focus on hitting line and length on a deteriorating pitch, took 5/11 as the tourists crumbled in their second innings against an impressive West Indies pace attack at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.

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Menacing paceman Shannon Gabriels took nine wickets in the match. Photo: Randy Brooks, AFP

Captain Jason Holder claimed three wickets, while Alzarri Joseph picked up the other two as the hosts won by 106 runs.

Pakistan’s second innings score matched the lowest Test total at Kensington Oval, set by India 20 years ago. It was also their lowest score in the Caribbean and 10th lowest anywhere.

Wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed top-scored in Pakistan’s second innings with 23.

The series, tied at 1-1, moves to Dominica for the deciding Test starting on Wednesday, where the West Indies will have a spring in their step after their first home Test victory in two years.

“I think I was trying too hard and trying to bowl too fast (in the first innings), so I just made the decision to stay calm in the second innings,” Man-of-the-Match Gabriel said at the victory presentation.

“It did reverse a bit, but I still had to put the ball in the right areas. It was an up-and-down fifth-day pitch, so we knew that all we had to do was put the ball in the right areas.”

The right-arm, fast-medium Gabriel, who took four wickets in the first innings, finished with match figures of 9/92, easily his best haul in his 25-Test career.

Holder hoped for the best after his team collapsed in their second innings to set Pakistan a modest target of 188, but he and his fellow pace battery did not have many runs to play with.

“Using cutters and cross-seam deliveries was going to give us help on this pitch,” he said. “It was an important win we needed to keep the series alive. It was important for us to show consistency, and we were able to do that here.”

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq felt that his team should have got a bigger first-innings lead. Photo: AP

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq lamented having to bat last, but also heaped praise on the West Indies bowlers.

“You can easily say that it’s about batting on a day-five pitch. We all knew from the first day that it was going to get worse, so that was the difference,” he said.

“First innings, we should have got a bigger lead. And finally, on the last day, West Indies bowled their heart out, and we were left with no answers.

“Because of the height – all the bowlers are tall – it was a tailor-made pitch for them to keep hitting the deck hard and making the ball jump around.”

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