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Pakistan's chance to clean sweep all formats

Match facts

Sunday, October 30, Sharjah
Start time 10am local (0600 GMT)

Big picture

Pakistan have already won the series, after taking a 2-0 lead with their victory in Abu Dhabi, but the final Test in Sharjah presents them with an opportunity to set some benchmarks. In their sights is a sixth series whitewash, and a chance to complete a clean sweep of West Indies: 3-0 in the Tests, to go with 3-0 in the ODIs and 3-0 in the T20 internationals. Misbah-ul-Haq is also set to lead Pakistan for the 49th time in Tests, and pass Imran Khan as the country's most-capped captain. Little did anyone think he would come this far - Misbah is 42 years old now - when he was appointed captain in 2010, and success in Sharjah would be an occasion for more celebratory push-ups.

West Indies were not easily beaten in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. They pushed each Test into the fifth day and made Pakistan bowl more than 100 overs in the fourth innings before the game was up. There were heartening performances from Darren Bravo, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel and Jermaine Blackwood, but West Indies' wait for victory continues despite having arrived in the UAE about 40 days ago.

Jason Holder's young team will hope they can end a couple of longer waits too. West Indies have not won a Test since May 2015, and the last time they won one outside the Caribbean and Bangladesh was in December 2007, against South Africa in Port Elizabeth. The Sharjah fixture is West Indies' last chance to perform creditably in Test cricket for a while; their next series is only in March 2017, when they host Pakistan.

Form guide

Pakistan WWWLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies LLDLD

In the spotlight

After taking ten wickets in Dubai, West Indies legspinner Devendra Bishoo managed only one in Abu Dhabi despite bowling 46 overs in the second Test. Misbah had said those conditions were extremely tough for wicket-taking, but Sharjah offers a bit more turn and Bishoo will want to ensure that eight-for isn't his only fond memory of the series.

Sarfraz Ahmed's 56 in Abu Dhabi was his first half-century in 15 innings, and his consistency with the bat has been a talking point lately. Sharjah was the venue where Sarfraz kick-started his Test career with 48 off 46 balls in an astonishing chase of 302 against Sri Lanka in 2014, and he will hope to rediscover strong batting form over the next five days.

Team news

Misbah hinted at changes in Pakistan's XI and it is understood that left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar may make way for an extra fast bowler. Sohail Khan may also miss the game to give a younger quick a chance.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Sami Aslam, 2 Azhar Ali, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Misbah ul Haq (capt), 5 Asad Shafiq, 6 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 7 Mohammad Nawaz, 8 Wahab Riaz, 9 Yasir Shah, 10 Imran Khan, 11 Sohail Khan

West Indies wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich was declared fit and is likely to return to the XI. Fast bowler Miguel Cummins, who took only one wicket in the first two Tests, is likely to make way for Alzarri Joseph.

West Indies 1 Kraigg Brathwaite, 2 Leon Johnson, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Jermaine Blackwood, 6 Roston Chase, 7 Shane Dowrich (wk), 8 Jason Holder (capt), 9 Devendra Bishoo, 10 Alzarri Joseph, 11 Shannon Gabriel

Pitch and conditions

Sharjah is much hotter than Abu Dhabi and Dubai were and temperatures are forecast to hit 33-34C. The pitch appears flat and is likely to offer assistance to the spinners only towards the end of the Test.

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan have played four Tests in Sharjah since 2010. They drew one and won one against Sri Lanka, lost to New Zealand, and beat England.

  • None of the present Pakistan batsmen average over 45 in Sharjah. Misbah's 43 is the best of the lot. Younis Khan averages 34 and Azhar Ali 31 here.

  • Yasir Shah's 11 wickets at this venue have come at 30 apiece.

Quotes

"Every Test win has value in term of ranking, confidence level, so it's important for us to try to win this game as well."
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq emphasises that there are no dead rubbers in Test cricket

"People forget this is a very, very young side. When you look at the number of players under 25, it is unbelievable that a side in Test cricket could be so young. But it's a good thing and once the people of the Caribbean and the selectors remain patient, I think we've got the making of a pretty decent side in 12 to 18 months."
West Indies' bowling coach Roddy Estwick is hopeful about the future

New record

1

No. of openers to remain not out in both inning of a Test - Brathwaite in this match is the first to achieve this.

Rare away win

3

No. of Tests won by West Indies away from home since 2000, excluding B'desh and Zim, including this win. In 76 Tests since then, they lost 56 of them.

Brathwaite's match

2004

Last time a WI opener scored a century and a fifty in an away Test, excluding B'desh and Zim - Gayle in Centurion. Brathwaite has done it in this match.

Can WI pull a win?

0

No. of times West Indies have failed to chase targets of less than 200 in Tests, before this - won 51 and drawn 6.

Holder's best

3/15

Previous best figures for Holder in Tests, against Eng in Bridgetown in 2015. He has taken more than 3 wkts in this inns; first time in 20 Tests.

2 PAIRS in a YEAR

2

No of top-order batsman (1 to 6) to bag 2 pairs in a year before Asad Shafiq.The previous 2 were: Mohinder Amarnath in 1983 and Mark Waugh in 1992.

Batting through

5

No. of WI batsmen to carry their bat in a Test inns, including Brathwaite. The last was Gayle at Adelaide in 2008-09. Worrell, Hunte and Haynes (3) being others.

Finally a lead

13

No. of consecutive Tests where WI had conceded a first-inns lead (when they batted second), before this. They have taken a lead this time.

Big one this time

5

No. of 50s for Brathwaite without converting it into a century, before this knock. Prior to that he had converted 4 of 6 50s into 100s from June 2014 to April 2015.

Samuels' ducks

10

No. of ducks for Samuels in Tests since 2011 - the second-most by any top-order batsman (No. 1 to 7). Only Ross Taylor (12) has more ducks.

Four fifties, less total

1

No. of team totals lower than Pakistan's 281 to have four individual fifty-plus scores. NZ had made 275 with help of four 50s v Pak in Hamilton in 2010-11.

Long time ago

1990

Last time Pakistan failed to score 300-plus in the first inns of a Test against West Indies in UAE or at home. They could manage only 281 in this inns.

Searching for maiden 100

5

Fifties in 12 Test innings for Sami Aslam. He hasn't scored a century yet, though - his highest is 90

First-over crisis

2006

The last time Pakistan lost more than one wicket in the 1st over of a Test; they were 0 for 3 v Ind in Karachi, but won the game by 341 runs