West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite was five runs short of a fighting hundred as he foiled Pakistan on the second day of the third and final Test in Sharjah on Monday.
Brathwaite anchored the West Indian innings with a 206-ball 95 not out after they were struggling at 3-38, sharing in two solid stands of 83 each with Roston Chase (50) for the fifth wicket and with Shane Dowrich (47) for the sixth.
At stumps, skipper Jason Holder was unbeaten on six with West Indies 6-244, just 37 runs behind Pakistan's first innings total of 281.
The tourists find themselves in a good position for the first time in the series against Pakistan who are targeting a 3-0 clean sweep after winning the first Test by 56 runs in Dubai and the second by 133 runs in Abu Dhabi.
Misbah-ul-Haq’s men are also on the verge of being the first team in history to win all nine matches of a tour, after Pakistan went undefeated through both the one-day international and T20 International legs of the tour.
But Brathwaite stands in their way, having batted solidly to negotiate Pakistan's spin-cum-pace attack with confidence and has struck 10 boundaries so far.
"There will be no butterflies," the 23-year-old insisted about approaching his fifth Test hundred.
"For me helping the West Indies to a good lead will be more important and I will do my best to achieve that."
West Indies lost Jermaine Blackwood for 23 soon after lunch and it looked like they would once again concede a lead but Brathwaite held the innings well with Chase and Dowrich.
Chase hit leg-spinner Yasir Shah for a straight six to bring up his fifty but was caught in the slip off Mohammad Amir in the next over.
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His 89-ball stay was spiced with six fours and a six.
Dowrich then complimented Brathwaite as they took West Indies to 234, with Dowrich benefitting from a catch off Wahab Riaz's no ball on 15 and a let-off by Younis Khan on 21.
Dowrich was finally bowled by Wahab after chopping on.
The West Indies were struggling when they lost the wicket of key batsman Darren Bravo for 11 before lunch.
Bravo miscued a drive off a flighted ball from spinner Zulfiqar Babar and was smartly snapped up by a diving Amir at extra cover, his first catch in 20 Tests.
Amir had no catch in his first 19 Tests, the most matches played without a catch for a player from the start of his career.
West Indies had made a disastrous start, with opener Leon Johnson trapped leg-before by Wahab in the fourth over for just one.
Bravo, who made a fighting hundred in the first Test, was left frustrated by short-pitched deliveries from left-armers Wahab and Amir before getting out.
Marlon Samuels also did not last long, trapped leg-before by leg-spinner Yasir Shah without scoring to leave West Indies struggling at 3-38.
Earlier, Windies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo finished with figures of 4-77 while fast bowlers Shannon Gabriel took 3-67 and Alzarri Joseph 2-57 to dismiss Pakistan for 281.
Pakistan added 26 to their overnight score before losing Amir for 20 and Yasir for 12, both to Joseph after the pair added 32 for the ninth wicket.