Mohammad Yousuf just missed a double century on Monday to spur Pakistan into a commanding lead against the West Indies on Day three of the first Test at the Gaddafi Stadium here.
Yousuf’s 192 off 330 balls lifted Pakistan to 485 in its first innings, giving the hosts a 279-run lead, after the West Indies scored just 206.
The West Indies were reeling at 74 for three when bad light brought an early closure to the day’s play, for the third consecutive day, with 20 overs still to be bowled. A total of 44 overs of play have been lost due to poor light over the last three days.
Visiting captain Brian Lara was holding one end up with a defiant 28 while nightwatchman Fidel Edwards was unbeaten on five, with the West Indies still 205 runs adrift to make Pakistan bat again.
Paceman Umar Gul (2-39), who took five wickets in the first innings, rocked the West Indies in the second innings as well, with two big wickets on either side of tea, while Daren Ganga (5) was run out.
Chris Gayle (11) edged to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal but Gul was lucky to win Ramnaresh Sarwan’s (23) leg-before decision. Television replays showed the ball hit the right-handed batsman high on the thigh pad.
Yousuf made the West Indies pay heavily for three dropped catches in his eight-hour, 21-minute long marathon innings that featured 24 boundaries and a straight six off left-arm spinner Dave Mohammed.
He was also lucky not to be given out on 53 when De Silva did not refer a stumping appeal to the television umpire on Sunday. Yousuf shared the highest partnership of the innings with wicketkeeper-batsman Akmal (78), adding 148 runs before both fell to off-spinner Gayle in the second session.
Akmal, who hit 13 fours for his fourth Test half century, was snapped up by Lara at short midwicket. The skipper dropped a more-important catch off Yousuf in the second slip in the second over of the day.
Yousuf, who had reprieves on 43, 101 and 114, was finally stumped in Gayle’s next over -- this time he was well out of his crease.
The last-wicket pair of Danish Kaneria (23) and Gul (16 not out) frustrated the West Indies bowlers with a rapid 41-run partnership that also saw Dwayne Bravo dropping a routine catch of Kaneria.
The West Indies bowlers had another tiring first session on a slow pitch as Pakistan added 131 runs and lost two wickets after resuming at the overnight 265-4. Fast bowler Jerome Taylor provided the early breakthroughs before Yousuf and Akmal were involved in a century stand and extended the Pakistan lead.
Shoaib Malik (69) scored two boundaries off Taylor’s first over before he played a loose shot and was caught at midwicket.
It ended a valuable 139-run partnership off 285 balls with Malik hitting a six and 10 boundaries in his half century. Taylor struck again when he induced a big edge off Abdul Razzaq’s (5) bat as Pakistan lost two wickets in the first six overs of the day.