KINGSTON: A patient unbeaten innings from captain Babar Azam helped Pakistan overcome a lengthy rain interruption to build a 124-run lead over the West Indies, with five wickets in hand, as they reached 160-5 in their second innings on the third day of the first test at Sabina Park on Saturday.

Babar, who is 54 not out, proved the mainstay of the innings as runs came slowly on a difficult pitch after Pakistan dismissed the Windies for 253 not long after the start of the day’s play, with the home side adding only two runs to their overnight score of 251-8 for a 36-run first innings lead.

Azam, whose half century came off 117 balls, will resume with Faheem Ashraf (12 not out) on Sunday.

West Indies opening bowlers Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales took two wickets each to take the early initiative as Pakistan were 117-4 shortly before tea when a rain storm stopped play for more than two hours.

Roach was responsible for the dismissals of Imran Butt, trapped leg before wicket without scoring in just the third over of Pakistan’s second innings, and Azhar Ali, who made 23 before having his leg stump uprooted.

Seales took two wickets in a single over as he first had opener Abid Ali caught at second slip by Jason Holder for 34 to see Pakistan slump to 65-3 and then three balls later induced a feint edge from Fawad Alam, who departed without scoring after making 56 in the first innings.

After the break, Holder claimed the wicket of Mohamed Rizwan, caught behind for 30 but Pakistan lost no further wickets to leave the test evenly poised with two days to play on a wicket expected to favour the bowlers more than the batsmen.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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