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Brathwaite, Holder lift West Indies in third Pakistan Test

AFP logoAFP 02-11-2016 Shahid Hashmi
West Indies batsman Kraigg Brathwaite celebrates reaching his century on the third day of the final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah on November 1, 2016 © Provided by AFP West Indies batsman Kraigg Brathwaite celebrates reaching his century on the third day of the final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah on November 1, 2016

Kraigg Brathwaite became the fifth West Indian batsman to carry his bat with an unbeaten hundred before Jason Holder took three wickets to leave Pakistan under pressure in the third Test in Sharjah on Tuesday.

Brathwaite held the West Indies first innings of 337 together with a resolute 142 not out before Holder jolted Pakistan with three wickets in 17 balls to leave his team in a strong position at the end of the third day.

At the close Pakistan were struggling at 87-4, with opener Azhar Ali 45 not out and Sarfraz Ahmed unbeaten on 19, leading by just 31 runs with six wickets intact and two days to play.

Pakistan needed a focused effort after conceding a 56-run lead on first innings but from 37-0 they lost four wickets in the space of 11 runs, with Holder firing on all cylinders and their batsmen playing rash shots.

West Indies captain Jason Holder celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Younis Khan on the third day of the final Test in Sharjah on November 1, 2016 © Provided by AFP West Indies captain Jason Holder celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Younis Khan on the third day of the final Test in Sharjah on November 1, 2016

If West Indies pull off a win it will be their first in 13 Tests since beating England at home in May last year while Pakistan would miss out on a 3-0 whitewash.

Holder said it was Brathwaite who had fired the West Indies.

"He played an excellent innings," said Holder. "He showed a lot of character and gave us the belief in our fight and it was very inspirational for me and gave me the energy to go all out."

Holder was also in red-hot form. He forced Sami Aslam (17) to hook straight into the hands of deep fine-leg then in his next over had Asad Shafiq caught at slip fending off a short ball for nought, his second in the match.

An over later Holder had Younis Khan caught behind without scoring and from the other end Misbah-ul-Haq holed out against off-spinner Roston Chase for four.

West Indian paceman Shannon Gabriel had Ahmed caught in the slips for nine only to see the umpire calling a no-ball, allowing the stand to reach 39 by the close.

- West Indies greats -

Earlier, Brathwaite, who hit 11 boundaries, added an invaluable 60 runs for the eighth wicket with Devendra Bishoo, who made a solid 27 to leave Pakistan frustrated.

In the end it was left to the lively pace of Wahab Riaz to take the final three wickets for his second five-wicket haul in Tests, finishing with 5-88 in 26.4 overs of hard work.

Riaz, whose first five-wicket haul came in his debut Test against England at The Oval in 2010, had Bishoo caught behind before dismissing Alzarri Joseph (six) and Gabriel (0) to wrap up the innings.

Pace partner Mohammad Amir took 3-71 while the spinners Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar took a wicket apiece.

Brathwaite follows in the footsteps of illustrious West Indians Frank Worrell, Conrad Hunte, Desmond Haynes (three times) and Chris Gayle in batting throughout an entire innings.

He had a lucky escape when wicketkeeper Ahmed failed to hold a sharp, rising edge off spinner Mohammad Nawaz when he was on 121.

In the same over, Bishoo was given out off a sweep shot but he successfully reviewed English umpire Michael Gough's decision.

Resuming at 244-6, the West Indies were looking for a substantial lead.

Brathwaite hit Amir for his 11th boundary off the day's first ball, and then on-drove him towards midwicket for two to reach his hundred off 211 balls.

Pakistan took the second new ball with the total on 251 and Amir struck instantly, clean-bowling Holder with a sharp incoming delivery for 16.

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