Sports

A fightback worth millions!

Written by Omair Alavi

By Omair Alavi Pakistan’s Cricket team may not have won many matches in Australia but the way Misbah’s team played in Brisbane, they don’t need to win to prove a point – they are a bunch of world class players who on their day can achieve the impossible. They were in search of a target…

SAMAA | Omair Alavi – Posted: Dec 19, 2016 | Last Updated: 5 years ago

By Omair Alavi

Pakistan’s Cricket team may not have won many matches in Australia but the way Misbah’s team played in Brisbane, they don’t need to win to prove a point – they are a bunch of world class players who on their day can achieve the impossible. They were in search of a target that no team had achieved at the GABBA and by the time the final wicket fell, they were just 39 runs away from what could have been a majestic victory.

Asad Shafiq turned out to be the star of the Pakistan line up and for the first time in many years, his performance was singled out as nearly match winner. It isn’t every day that Pakistan scores 450 runs in their fourth innings – be it in Australia or Sharjah – and similarly, it isn’t every day that Australian bowlers find it impossible to penetrate the defence of Pakistani tail enders. Pakistan managed to do well against Australia because instead of following their usual routine of trying to save their wicket and let the match end in a draw, they went out all guns blazing and nearly reached the finish line.

Misbah’s men followed the ‘When in Australia, do as Aussies do!’ saying and that’s the reason Azhar Ali, Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq ended with scores of 50 and above. Instead of saving their wicket, they rotated the strike, hit the bad deliveries and frustrated the bowlers who were expecting a surrender from the visitors. From number 1 to number 10, all the batsmen guarded their stumps and fell to good deliveries (except for Younis Khan). It didn’t matter to them whether it was the fifth day or whether there were cracks in the pitch; all that mattered to them was the scorecard and they kept it moving, the Australian way!

This is possibly the best time for Pakistan to break the jinx of not beating Australia in their territory. The Aussies have an inexperienced middle order whereas their pacers aren’t nearly as good as their predecessors. If they are serious to win, they must make the necessary changes in their side such as including a right arm fast bowler (Sohail Khan or Imran Khan) in place of Rahat Ali who is the weakest link in the whole Pakistan squad, yet gets to play for unknown reasons. Imagine had Sohail Khan been in the team, Pakistan might have managed to score a few runs (he is handy with the bat) and take some wickets (more than Rahat’s 2). His presence would have given Pakistan’s attack another dimension and he might have troubled the handful of left-handers in the host team.

Pakistan is to play 2 more matches in Australia and from what we have seen in the last 2 days at Brisbane, they have the capability to challenge the mighty Aussies at their den. Misbah needs to be positive in the next matches because even when you lose after being positive, nobody minds that. That’s something Misbah and his band of brothers must have learned today, the hard way!

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Omair Alavi