Providence, Guyana: On a surface atoning for modern cricket's batting sins, a compelling Test again went this way and that, before nestling, at the end of the third day at Providence, loosely in the hands of the West Indies. Saeed Ajmal took centrestage to keep Pakistan in the contest initially, but Shivnarine Chanderpaul prised open that grip, before West Indian pacemen tore it off in an adrenaline-pumped afternoon. spell. At the end of another slow run-scoring but fast-moving day, Pakistan had recovered to 80 for 3, chasing 219.
Commentators have sniped at this pitch's uneven bounce and excessive turn but really, this is a miniscule righting of the massive wrongs of the modern-day batathons of Antigua, Lahore and countless others, where even if bowlers hurled hand grenades they might struggle to dislodge batsmen. Few batsmen here have looked set though admittedly these are two of the poorer batting sides going. But frankly it's made a battle out of a contest that could easily have slipped into yawning obscurity.
And no bowler will care much, not Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul, who reduced Pakistan to 2 for 3 in their chase, the wickets falling in eight balls across the second and third overs. The pair have bowled with greater purpose and energy than their Pakistan counterparts; at pace, both moved the ball in and away in a high-tempo burst that decapitated Pakistan. Rampaul sent back Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali before Roach dismissed Hafeez.