Pakistan v West Indies: Darren Bravo century almost denies hosts in thriller

By Kalika MehtaBBC Sport at Dubai International Stadium
Darren Bravo
Darren Bravo's 116 took West Indies to within 56 runs of the third highest successful run chase in Test cricket history
First Test, Dubai (day/night), day five:
Pakistan 579-3 dec: Azhar 302*; & 123: Bishoo 8-49
West Indies 357: Bravo 87, Samuels 76, Yasir 5-121; & 289: Bravo 116
Pakistan won by 56 runs

Pakistan clinched a thrilling 56-run win over West Indies in the day-night Test in Dubai despite a Darren Bravo century on the final day.

Mohammad Amir took 3-63 for the hosts, his best figures since his return from a spot-fixing ban, to ensure victory for the hosts in their 400th Test.

Bravo's 116 gave West Indies - chasing 346 to win - hope, before he fell to Yasir Shah to leave them 263-7.

Pakistan wrapped up victory with 12 overs to spare.

The second match of the three-Test series starts on Friday in Abu Dhabi.

Beginning the final day on 95-2, West Indies - now without a win in 12 Tests - lost Marlon Samuels caught behind off the first ball to Amir.

But Bravo shared half-century stands with Roston Chase and captain Jason Holder and reached three figures off 211 balls, having hit nine fours and a six, to bring West Indies within sight of what would have been the third highest successful run chase in Tests.

Day-night Test fails to inspire in UAE

The experiment of having a day-night Test in the United Arab Emirates looks to have failed after a lacklustre turnout across the five days.

While 123,736 fans packed into the Adelaide Oval across three days in November 2015 for the first ever day-night Test between Australia and New Zealand, official figures suggest just 6,000 spectators watched the action over five days in Dubai.

On Friday, the first of the weekend in the UAE, the crowd was a little over 2,400 at its peak despite an entry fee of just AED 20 (£4.50).

Problems with the pink Kookaburra ball arose too, despite its seam being strengthened and coloured black to make it easier for the batsmen to see.

The pink ball had to be changed after just three overs in Pakistan's second innings on the fourth day after losing its shape - with just one ball throughout the duration of the Test lasting the full 80 overs.

What they said

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur: "There's some work to do with the pink ball. I don't think it's up to the standard required yet and I think that's the only thing holding day-night cricket back.

"We didn't get the pink ball to reverse swing and we saw it get soft quite quickly, so it has a way to go."

Former West Indies captain Sir Viv Richards: "I don't think they have fully sussed the right ball just yet and the jury is still out with the changes in shape and discolouration of the ball, but once they get that right the future may look a little bit brighter.

"We have to try various ways and means to give new excitement to the game. I remember when one-day cricket started there were some issues with the white ball and it's still very much in existence so we need to give the pink ball a chance."

Former Pakistan captain and coach Waqar Younis: "Test match cricket is still the pinnacle and we have to preserve it. We haven't fiddled with it too much from the beginning and I don't think we need to do too much.

"Some pitches may end up being too juicy for the pink ball in the evening.

"If it's attracting crowds, which I haven't seen it do here in Dubai, then I am for day-night Tests but if it isn't then we need to stick to cricket the way it is now."

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