Brooks half-century as West Indies leads smog-hit Afghanistan Test.

Lucknow, India – Overnight batsman Shamarh Brooks hit his second successive Test half-century to give West Indies the lead on day two of the one-off Test against Afghanistan on Thursday.

West Indies were 195 for five at lunch, leading Afghanistan by eight runs in the northern Indian city of Lucknow which has been hit by heavy air pollution over the last month.

The air quality reading was 364 micrograms of pollutants per cubic meter, well into the “hazardous” zone. The recommended World Health Organisation safe daily maximum is 25.

But Brooks remained undaunted as he was batting on 75 in just the third Test since his debut against India in August. Shane Dowrich was keeping him company on 25.

Afghanistan’s spinners took all three wickets in the morning session with Amir Hamza sending back John Campbell for 55 after the left-hander completed his maiden Test fifty.

Campbell put on 82 runs for the third wicket with overnight partner Brooks after West Indies started the day on 68 for two.

Skipper Rashid Khan trapped the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer for 13 and left-arm wrist spinner Zahir Khan sent Roston Chase trudging back to the pavilion for two.

Brooks then got support from wicketkeeper-batsman Dowrich to steady the innings with their unbeaten 45-run stand and take the West Indies past Afghanistan’s total of 187.

West Indies spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, the heaviest man in Test cricket — weighing 140 kilograms (308 pounds), and 1.96 meters (six feet five inches) tall — took seven wickets to flatten the Afghan batting on day one.

AFP/ PENINSULA

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