WI comfortably placed to win after topsy-turvy day

The Windies has lost eight successive games to Pakistan across all formats in the United Arab Emirates, but will begin the final morning of the third Test requiring just 39 runs for victory, with five second-innings wickets still in hand.

Yasir Shah took three top-order wickets in West Indies' chase to keep Pakistan alive.   -  Getty Images

West Indies is on the brink of a first Test win under Jason Holder after Pakistan made life difficult for itself with a host of needless errors on day four in Sharjah.

The Windies has lost eight successive games to Pakistan across all formats in the United Arab Emirates, but will begin the final morning of the third Test requiring just 39 runs for victory, with five second-innings wickets still in hand.

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An unbroken stand of 47 between first-innings centurion Kraigg Brathwaite, who is yet to be dismissed in this match, and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich revived the touring team after it had slumped to 67-5.

Prior to that, Pakistan had suffered a collapse of its own in the afternoon session, losing its last five wickets for 33 —as skipper Holder finished with 5-30 — to ensure the Windies was left with a modest target of 153.

Two drops in the slip cordon at the start of the chase deepened Pakistan's woes, but Yasir Shah (3-30) and Wahab Riaz (2-30) looked to have put Misbah-ul-Haq's side in the driving seat before Brathwaite and Dowrich's timely riposte.

Brathwaite contributed 142 of his team's 337 runs at the first time of asking and again looked a class apart as he held firm amid regular breakthroughs at the other end, while Dowrich took time to settle but counter-attacked impressively as the day drew to a close.

Leon Johnson, Brathwaite's opening partner, was put down at third and first slip off Mohammad Amir prior to tea, yet failed to capitalise in the evening session and was plumb lbw to Yasir with 29 on the board.

That dismissal triggered an alarming slide, Yasir also accounting for Darren Bravo (3) and Marlon Samuels (10), who foolishly holed out to long-off, prior to Wahab getting in on the act by bowling Jermaine Blackwood (4) and having Roston Chase (2) caught at short midwicket.

Brathwaite finally found reliable support from Dowrich, though, both men surviving optimistic Pakistan reviews but otherwise appearing relatively comfortable.

Dowrich (36 not out) accelerated in the closing overs as his partner remained rock-solid, putting the West Indies in command.

Pakistan had initially made promising progress on day four, Azhar Ali (90) and Sarfraz Ahmed (42) extending their partnership to 86.

However, both men were caught at slip off Bishoo following poor strokes, Azhar's dismissal coming amid a post-lunch collapse that also saw Mohammad Amir (8) farcically run out, having stood motionless for several seconds as a diving Chase pulled off a superb piece of fielding at long-off to prevent a six.

Holder claimed the last two wickets to complete his first five-for in Tests.