Kemar Roach, who guided West Indies in a thrilling one-wicket win over Pakistan in Jamaica, talked through his crucial last-wicket partnership with young Jayden Seales. The pair added 17 runs in three overs to take the hosts over the line, after they had collectively bagged 13 wickets in the game.
After three days of absorbing cricket, the first Test between West Indies and Pakistan culminated in a thrilling climax on the fourth, with the hosts emerging victorious in a highly tense finish.
Chasing a victory target of 168, West Indies were reduced to 16/3 as Shaheen Afridi rattled the top-order. A 68-run stand between Roston Chase (22) and Jermaine Blackwood (55) somewhat stabilized the innings, before Faheem Ashraf and Hasan Ali ran through the middle-order to make it 114/7. With the hosts still 54 away, Roach stepped in to join wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua de Silva to put on a crucial 26-run stand.
Afridi, however, was at it yet again, having de Silva caught behind for 13 to earn his eight scalp in the game. Exactly three overs later, Mohammad Rizwan produced an outstanding catch while running backwards, diving to snaffle Jomel Warrican’s top-edge yards inside the fine-leg boundary.
It was all down to Roach, who showed great grit to guide West Indies to what happened to be their third one-wicket win in Test cricket. The 33-year-old stated that it was all about self-belief and patience, and credited the visitors for their outstanding bowling.
"I have never been in a situation like that before, batting with the tail," Roach said after play. "I am part of the tail, so for me it was to go out there and believe. That was the biggest thing - to believe and stay positive - and it worked, and I give thanks.
"We never lost hope. It was truly amazing. I thought Pakistan bowled really well. It is about patience - who has more patience will come out on top."
Roach further stated that his emphasis was to stay positive and take it ball-by-ball, and praised the young Jaydon Seales for his significant contribution. The 19-year-old bagged eight wickets in the game and was declared the Player of the Match.
"The plan was to just stay positive. That's me," he added. "I was just trying to take on every ball as it came. This is by far the most important innings so far. I was just trying to pick the gaps and run hard. My advice to Jayden was just to protect the stumps. The biggest threat is the straight ball. He did it very well. He is a star for the future. His five wickets today speaks wonders about our cricket. All the best to him, and I wish him a great career!"
The second Test will be played at the same venue, beginning Friday, August 20.