Pakistan hosted Srilanka in UAE for a full series comprising of Tests, ODI’s and a T20 international. Due to the current economic and political instability, Pakistan have been forced to host their home series in UAE, having previously played the likes of
West Indies, England and South Africa.
Following the same pattern, Srilanka also landed in UAE in order to play a full series against the Pakistan Cricket Team. The adventure started in Abu Dhabi on the 18th of October with Pakistan holding an edge for the best part of four days.
Having dismissed the Lankan tigers for a meagre 197 in the first innings and registering a 314-run lead, the Green Shirts were certain favourites to win. Srilanka, though, managed 483 runs in the second innings, asking Pakis to chase 169 from the 22 remaining
The only negative aspect of the game was Misbah-ul-Haq’s decision to try avoiding defeat by playing safely. When whole nation were thinking of a win, Pakistan preferred hanging back and playing out a draw, much to the disappointment of the fans.
Pakistan captain, Misbah, was also criticised for his negative instincts, forcing him to turn things around in the second test at Dubai.
One positive aspect of the game were the bowling figures of young left arm fast bowler, Junaid Khan. The lefty made his debut on Pakistan’s tour of Zimbabwe, but, wasn’t that successful. The 21-year-old earned himself another opportunity for Srilanka series
and made perfect use of his chance by bagging his first ever five-wicket haul.
Junaid grabbed 5/38 including the prize scalp of Mahela Jayawardene.
Apart from Junaid, Pakistan’s opener, Taufeeq Umar, scored his maiden double ton, eventually finishing with 236 runs out of the total score of 511/6. Umar spent a mammoth 712 minutes on the pitch, facing 496 balls.
One of the senior Pakistan fast bowler, Umar Gul stood tall in the second innings and bowled 25 overs in the heat of dessert, bagging four wickets in return.
It was really encouraging to see any of our senior players standing tall when the team needed them the most.
Overall, Pakistan played positive cricket in the test match apart from the last day when they preferred going for a draw rather pressing for a win.