Pakistan recovered from losing three early wickets to reach 80 for three at the close on a remarkable third day in the first Test against the West Indies [ Images ] on Saturday, leaving them 139 runs short of victory.
A fascinating encounter on a throwback surface, that in contrast to so many modern Test wickets offers something for the bowlers and truly tests the batsmen, remains in the balance although Pakistan will feel they have the upper hand.
Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal [ Images ] again dominated, taking six wickets, making it 11 in the game, as West Indies were bowled out for 152 in their second innings.
That total would have been even worse had it not been for a fine 10th wicket partnership between last man Devendra Bishoo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul [ Images ].
The Guyanese pair put on 48 for the final wicket -- the best partnership in the West Indies innings with last man Bishoo making 24 and Chanderpaul unbeaten on 36.
It gave Darren Sammy's side a target to bowl at despite Pakistan having more than two days to reach the modest target.
A surface that had offered plenty for all kinds of bowlers, especially the spinners, was certain to produce some difficulties though for the tourists.
Ravi Rampaul gave West Indies the perfect start when he trapped Taufeeq Umar [ Images ] lbw without him scoring and then two balls later removed Azhar Ali, caught behind for nought.
Pakistan were reeling at three down for just two runs after Kemar Roach picked up the prize wicket of Mohammad Hafeez [ Images ], lbw after a review with a ball that cut back sharply.
With the home support going wild with delight, the prospect of a swift end to the contest appeared on the horizon but Asad Shafiq (40 not out) and Misbah-ul-Haq (34) knuckled down and produced the biggest partnership of this low scoring test -- putting on 78 before the close.
It was a timely contribution to calme the nerves in the Pakistan camp overnight but, while time is no issue, 139 runs with seven wickets remaining will be a testing task f 1869750388
The last wicket stand keeps West Indies' hopes alive but, despite the tricky track, Pakistan will fancy their chances of taking a 1-0 lead in the two-test series.
West Indies (1st innings): 226 (Saeed Ajmal 5-69)
Pakistan (1st innings): 160 (D. Bishoo 4-68)
West Indies (2nd innings): (overnight 34-2)
D. Smith lbw b Mohammad Hafeez 1
L. Simmons c Azhar Ali b Wahab Riaz 21
D. Bravo lbw b Saeed Ajmal 8
K. Roach lbw b Saeed Ajmal 3
R. Sarwan c Asad Shafiq b Saeed Ajmal 11
S. Chanderpaul not out 36
B. Nash run out 3
C. Baugh c Umar Akmal [ Images ] b Saeed Ajmal 7
D. Sammy lbw b Abdur Rehman 9
R. Rampaul c Azhar Ali b Saeed Ajmal 2
D. Bishoo c Umar Akmal b Saeed Ajmal 24.
Extras: (b 7, lb 17, w 2, nb 1) 27
Total: (all out; 61.5 overs) 152
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-23, 3-35, 4-47, 5-59, 6-74, 7-86, 8-99, 9-104, 10-152.
Bowling: Umar Gul 8-2-21-0 (2w), Mohammad Hafeez 9-1-15-1, Abdur Rehman 11-1-25-1, Saeed Ajmal 23.5-6-42-6, Wahab Riaz 10-1-25-1 (1nb)
Pakistan (2nd innings):
Mohammad Hafeez lbw b Roach 2
Taufeeq Umar lbw b Rampaul 0
Azhar Ali c Baugh b Rampaul 0
Asad Shafiq not out 40
Misbah-ul-Haq not out 34.
Extras: (lb 4) 4
Total: (for three wickets; 36 overs) 80
Still to bat: Umar Akmal, Mohammad Salman, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-2, 3-2.
Bowling (to date): Roach 8-1-16-1, Rampaul 11-3-24-2, Bishoo 10-4-19-0, Sammy 6-2-15-0, Nash 1-0-2-0.