Thank you and goodbye, Misbah & Younis

It was a fitting finale that Pakistan’s maiden series victory in the West Indies should coincide with the dual retirements of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan. The occasion at the Windsor Park in Roseau on Sunday was understandably sober, but yet festive for the tourists since no previous Pakistan outfit had managed to leave the Caribbean shores with a Test series triumph under their belt.

At the beginning of their last day in international cricket, Misbah and Younis had just one thing on their mind: signing off on a victorious note and there was just one side that stood any chance of victory on the final day of an absorbing series.

Pakistan needed to chip away at the rest of West Indies batting on a dreadfully sluggish pitch when play began on day five.

As overs ticked by so did the angst in the West Indian camp. By noon, they had lost three further wickets to be 73-4 at lunch. There was no chance of them going after the remaining 231 runs over the last two sessions left.

By tea the equation had come down to Pakistan needing four wickets for their prime objective, with 38 overs still to go.

The only hurdle that stood between a befitting sendoff for Misbah and Younis was Roston Chase, the doughty all-rounder who was the only man on either side to score over 300 runs in the series. Bruised as he was with the ball repeatedly thudding into his body, he kept the West Indies’ fading hopes alive as long as he humanly could. Even he was caught off an Abbas no-ball on 92, Chase reached a wonderful second century against Pakistan as well as 402 runs for the series.

Misbah and Younis, though, had the last laugh as team-mates. And as the final West Indian wicket went down, so did the curtains came down on glittering careers of two of Pakistan’s most respected sportsmen. Thanks for the memory Misbah and Younis.

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