Gallant bid - Holder thrilled with Bravo, team effort despite defeat
DUBAI, UAE (CMC):
Captain Jason Holder has hailed Darren Bravo's eighth Test century in difficult final day circumstances and said his entire team had showed plenty character, despite their 56-run defeat to Pakistan in the day/night opening Test here yesterday.
Bravo stroked 116 at the Dubai International Stadium as West Indies, chasing 346 for victory, came up short on 289 in their second innings to fall 0-1 behind in the three-Test series.
"It was a quality innings and he batted really well in both the first and second innings," Holder told reporters afterwards.
"I think he showed a lot of maturity in both those innings. He spent some time, he gave himself a really good chance to get a score and you could see the determination on his face and in his expressions and even his body language I thought it was very, very positive.
"Hopefully we can continue in this vein and keep Darren Bravo leading our batting."
Unbeaten on 26 at the start with West Indies on 95 for two, the left-hander survived the loss of veteran partner Marlon Samuels for four to the first ball of the day, to keep Pakistan at bay.
All told, he faced 249 balls in a marathon 63/4 hours at the crease and struck 10 fours and a six. He anchored half-century stands with Roston Chase (35) and Jason Holder (40 not out), to carry West Indies' victory bid late into the final session.
However, with perhaps one of his few false strokes of the innings, he mistimed a drive back to Yasir Shah in the final hour to be seventh out at 263 and Holder said that dismissal was the turning point in the contest.
"That was obviously a crucial moment there. Bravo was the set batsman, he'd played beautifully up until that point, but it was tough coming out of the rough with Yasir Shah," he explained.
"I thought he bowled really well, he was very, very challenging and he made it difficult for us to score and also defend.
"If you look back at it, you see a lot of things in hindsight, but obviously at the moment when Bravo got out we would've probably asked him to go on a little longer."
West Indies were always up against it once they conceded a lead of 222 on first innings after Pakistan had piled up a mammoth 579 for three declared in their first innings.
However, with leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo taking eight for 49, the Windies bundled out Pakistan for 123 in their second innings to open up the game.
Holder said the batting effort from his side in both innings and the bowling in the Pakistan second innings, was cause for encouragement.
"I am obviously disappointed that we lost. At the end of the day it is still a loss, but having said that there are lots of positives I can take from this game," he pointed out.
"One thing is I am really proud of the guys for the way they fought. I must commend the guys, they stuck it straight through to the end, all the bowlers gave a really big effort on a pitch that didn't give much assistance to them and I can't really fault the effort of the guys.
"I just think it was a very, very good team effort. Unfortunately we didn't get over the line and unfortunately we didn't save the game, but there are a hell of a lot of positives to take from this game."
PAKISTAN 1st Innings 579-3 decl.
WEST INDIES 1st Innings 357
PAKISTAN 2nd innings 123
WEST INDIES 2nd Innings (target: 346)
(overnight 95 for two)
K Brathwaite b Mohammad Amir 6
L Johnson lbw b Mohammad Amir 47
D Bravo c & b Yasir Shah 116
M Samuels c wkp Sarfraz Ahmed b Mohammad Amir 4
J Blackwood lbw b Mohammad Nawaz 15
R Chase b Yasir Shah 35
+S Dowrich b Wahab Riaz 0
*J Holder not out 40
D Bishoo lbw b Mohammad Nawaz 3
M Cummins run out 1
S Gabriel run out 1
Extras (b5, lb7, w5, nb4) 21
TOTAL (all out, 109 overs) 289
Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-87, 3-95, 4-116, 5-193, 6-194, 7-263, 8-276, 9-277, 10-289.
Bowling: Mohammad Amir 23-5-63-3 (w1), Sohail Khan 10-1-22-0, Yasir Shah 41-6-113-2, Mohammad Nawaz 18-4-32-2, Wahab Riaz 17-1-47-1 (nb4).
Result: Pakistan won by 56 runs.
Series: Pakistan lead three-match series 1-0.
Man-of-the-Match: Azhar Ali.