About 30 years from now, when Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan will be spending time with their children, grandchildren, family and friends, one particular story would come up frequently in the conversations. The story of their last Test match against the West Indies.
Years down the line, when Yasir Shah will be done with his art of leg-spin, he’ll fondly recall the five-for against the West Indies that helped Pakistan to seal one of the greatest series victories.
Roston Chase will never forget about the Test. Though he would very much like to forget about it. He scored a valiant century and his knock almost pulled off an incredible draw from the jaws of defeat. Shannon Gabriel will be forever haunted for playing a mindless shot, which eventually resulted in a heart-wrenching loss.
People, who witnessed the match at the Windsor Park, Roseau, will carry the memories for the longest of times. Same goes for the fans around the world, who saw the match in their respective screens.
The careers of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan couldn’t have ended on a more thrilling note. On the final day of the match, the stage was set for a perfect triumph for Pakistan. West Indies had to score 297 runs in 90 overs with nine wickets in hand.
At lunch, they were 73/4. At tea break, they were 146/6.
It was pretty clear to Roston Chase and skipper Jason Holder that the only way out is to play out the last session. The win was out of reach. Holder fell soon after the tea. Chase was now in company of Devendra Bishoo. While the former was going steady, Bishoo had been more than impressive with his batting. Pakistan’s camp were showing signs of anxiety. At the same time, fans of the Windies were starting to hope.
Mohammad Abbas bowled the 76th over of the innings. The first two balls to Bishoo were on the fuller side. The third one was a bouncer and Bishoo did well to duck. The next one was another ripper of a bouncer which came at an awkward height and Bishoo couldn’t avoid it. His gloves made the contact with the ball and the silly point fielder seized a simple catch.
West Indies were eight down and still had to survive 20 overs.
Alzarri Joseph joined Chase in the middle. In the very next over after Bishoo’s fall, Chase was facing Hasan Ali. He flicked the fourth ball towards the bowler and Ali dropped a tough chance. The catch came at a chest height to Ali but it didn’t stick. Chase got a big reprieve but the biggest of all was to come after two overs.
Abbas bowled one fuller and wider. Chase went for the cover-drive but nicked it to the first slip fielder. Pakistan erupted. This was the wicket they were searching for and finally they got it. But alas! Replays showed that Abbas had overstepped and Chase will continue his batting. Yet another goof up from Pakistan. How many times!
Five overs later, Chase went past the 100-run mark with a stylish on-drive. He folded his arms in the form of ‘X’ to celebrate his ton. But the real celebration will come after West Indies get the draw.
Three 100s in a year for Roston Chase. Two of them on Day-5. Windies have found a very reliable batsman in him. Also a good bowler. #WIvPak
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) May 15, 2017
The crowd at the stadium started dancing. They thought Pakistan can’t get rid of Chase and Joseph was doing his best to stay. They thought they will go back home happy. But it’s not done until it’s done. Joseph believed he’ll save the match but sometimes believe is not enough. Joseph lacked the application and he departed. Nine down for the host and 52 more balls to go.
Two balls later, Pakistan players exploded again. They were convinced that Gabriel edged the ball to keeper so they reviewed the on-field umpire’s decision of not-out. No Snickometer. No Hotspot. No conclusive evidence and the third-umpire stayed with the on-field umpire’s call. Misbah was furious. Pakistan’s fans were furious.
Block! Block! Block!
Chase and Gabriel were indulged in a blockathon. Three back-to back maidens and just two more overs were remaining. Shah was gearing up to bowl his last over in the series. And guess what! It started drizzling. Even the clouds couldn’t take the drama.
Three dot balls and West Indies were almost there. For the fourth ball, Yashir Shah came around the wicket and Gabriel tried to play across the line. The ball missed the bat but hits the pad and silly point took the catch. Pakistan players raised their arms in jubilation. This time, the on-field umpire was also with them. But Gabriel reviewed and walked towards Chase, giving him a hard fist bump. He knew he didn’t hit it and the third-umpire confirmed it.
Surely there can’t be more twists. The final session saw far too many of them and it seemed certain that the quota is over. One more dot ball confirmed it. Misbah, like he was doing after every alternative ball, tinkered with the field setup. Most of the players were standing close to the batsman. Just one more ball and then Chase can bat out the final over.
Bowled! Inside-edge onto the stumps. Shah channelled his inner Imran Tahir/Usain Bolt and ran towards the deep mid-wicket boundary. Misbah threw his hat in rapturous delight and ran behind Shah. So did Younis Khan and other players. Gabriel stood at his crease, wondering about the shot. He committed his own version of Zinedine Zidane/Mike Tyson.
The crowd were silent but Pakistan players were not. They lifted Misbah and Younis with both being draped in Pakistan’s national flag. Both legends were smiling, enjoying and revelling. Both of them have seen many victories but this was something else. It came in their last outing as international players and they couldn’t have asked for a better end.
Fazeer Mohammad screaming "WHY DID HE DO THAT?!" is my new ringtonepic.twitter.com/DelhZNXufU
— Vithushan (@Vitu_E) May 15, 2017
I may have said this before but forget Warne, Misbah who writes your scripts?
— Osman Samiuddin (@OsmanSamiuddin) May 14, 2017
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) May 15, 2017