Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cricket Time!

Pakistan vs Srilanka cricket series may not be a mouth watering prospect for many but I guess this is the perfect preparation and confidence building step that Pakistan needed before the big series against England early next year as that series will decide the direction towards which Pakistan cricket is going.

Pakistan dominated throughout the five days of the first cricket test between the two teams, had it not been the drop catches Pakistan would have won easily. Winning the toss and bowling first was a risk but Misbah was right in taking the initiative of a fresh pitch as the only assistance bowlers had was on the first day of the match and Pakistani bowlers did not let their captain down when they bowled out Srilanka for 197 with Junaid Khan picking up his first five wicket hall in a spell of 14.1-3-38-5. Pakistan reply was a strong one as Taufeeq Umar with his 236 helped Pakistan to a strong total of 511/6 wickets, the only negative was that Pakistan took 710 minutes and scored the runs at the rate of 2.9 per over. Srilanka's second innings was no different as they were struggling at 233-5 only until the drop catches, six in total, cost Pakistan the match. They were able to bowl out Srilanka with 21 overs remaining but sensibly did not chase the target due to Srilanka's negative field setting. Kumara Sangakara was given the man of the match award which was surprising for me :)

The start of second Cricket test was almost the same with the only difference that it was Srilanka who won the toss and elected to bat! That was a brave decision but it backfired with Srilanka reeling at 154/8 but thanks to the late resistance of Rangana Herath and Walegedara they were able to reach a respectable total of 239. Pakistan's reply was again a strong one as they were able to score 403 runs and taking a lead of 164 runs with Azhar Ali scoring his first international hundred and were able to bowl out Srilanka for 257 runs in their second innings. This time the destroyer was Saeed Ajmal picking up 68-5. Pakistan were left to chase 94 wihch they did so at the lost of just one wicket. Saeed Ajmal was declared man of the match!

Pakistan have played really well in the two tests so far and have been on top of their game in all aspects, which is a heartening fact to see. In my view this is by fat the most settled Pakistani test team after the Inzamam era and I'm loving that fact. But I guess the real test for the Pakistani team will be the third test match where they will have to finish as a dominating side and their batting will have one last test of character! they must not get complacent and just stick to the basics, actually I could have wrote about the matches and my views alot more but the sad news about the spot fixing is out and I just can't write more for now! (Sad in a way). Pakistan should go for a 2-0 here as it will take them to number 5 in the ICC rankings within a touching distance of Australia! 

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