An emphatic win: The question of consistent performance
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2016-08-17 06:00:17

An emphatic win: The question of consistent performance

Yasir Shah took five wickets as Pakistan marked the country’s Independence Day with a 10-wicket win over England in the fourth Test at The Oval on Sunday. Victory saw Pakistan end the four-match series all square at 2-2 on an Oval ground where they won their first Test match in England back in 1954. England, 88 for four overnight, were dismissed for 253 in their second innings, with Shah taking five for 71 in 29 overs after Jonny Bairstow top-scored with 81. That left Pakistan needing just 40 to win after excellent hundreds by man-of-the-match Younis Khan (218) and Asad Shafiq (109) had helped them compile a commanding first-innings total of 542. Azhar Ali (30 not out) ended the match by hitting Moeen Ali for a straight six as Pakistan finished on 42 without loss. Quite significantly, ‘comeback’ has been a buzzword for Pakistan in the series. There were quite a few players that carried the team and never allowed their ambitions to fade. It was pleasing to see middle-order batsman Azhar Ali overcoming his poor early form to make a century at Edgbaston, a nearly forgotten Sohail Khan re-emerging as the bowling spearhead and young opener Sami Aslam proving his potential with some exquisite batting after a dismal series in Bangladesh in 2015. But best of all was the return to form of veteran Younis Khan who dazzled the world with an epic, match-winning 218 at The Oval. Skipper Misbah should be given the credit for Pakistan’s recent successes in Tests. He has been a most influential figure and certainly one of the finest of modern captains. A determined character who has led the batting from the front in times of crises, Misbah’s success stems from picking the right combinations, building confidence in the players and getting them to stick together. With tough tours of New Zealand and Australia to follow before the year is out, coupled with a short series against the West Indies, the challenges ahead are quite daunting for Pakistan. The drawn series is a fair reflection on both teams, with both sides playing mercurial, engaging cricket. No one team wrestled the initiative long enough to take a decisive lead in the contest. If Pakistan lorded at Lord’s, England were outrageously good at Old Trafford before clawing back from an almost improbable situation to win at Edgbaston. Pakistan were at their irresistible best at the Oval and grounded the high-flying hosts with a clinical effort.

pk.shafaqna.com

 

 

Categories:   Pakistan ، Sport ،
Tags:   Yasir Shah ، Oval ، Jonny Bairstow ،
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