Sunday, 22 August 2010

3rd Test, Pakistan Review

A long term prospect in the making

There were plenty of memorable and joyful moments at the Oval this time round

Pakistan managed to achieve something which many doubted prior to the Oval Test Match following two comprehensive defeats at Nottingham and Edgbaston by winning the 3rd Test Match by 4 wickets on the fourth day's play to bring the series standing to 2-1 with one to go and all to play for at Lords, commencing on Thursday 26th August. It will be Pakistan's second visit of Lords for the summer so there should be limited problems adapting to the atmosphere and famous old slope. Also, as traditionally would be the case with England they play 2 Tests per year at the illustrious venue.

Pakistan had two left armers with 5 wicket hauls in the match in debutant Wahab Riaz and teenage pace sensation Mohammad Aamir who both triggered batting collapses with the quality bowling performances. Ajmal was phenomenal and bamboozled the English batsmen in the second innings with some magical craft and guile.

Azhar Ali impressed with his 92*and demonstrated his batting credentials. His determination, willingness to stay at the wicket, patience and solid defence was wonderful as for the first time this summer in 5 test matches Pakistan managed to reach 300. Mohammad Yousuf returned with plenty of class and character and played 2 significant knocks, scoring 56 and 33 respectively.

The difference in this match in contrast to the other two was that Pakistan actually managed to hold on to their catches with Kamran Akmal holding 8 against many people's surprise. Batting wise, Kamran's appalling form continues and his weaknesses continue to get exploited with ease. This needs to change.

Pakistan made hard work chasing the modest total of 148 but eventually managed to reach the target with the young starts Mohammad Aamir and Umar Akmal hitting the winning runs which was would have been an important experience for the two by getting their nation over the line after a slight collapse.

There is now some news from reliable sources that Younis Khan is set to make a comeback which will only make the team stronger and better. I have the belief that Pakistan can become world beaters and on their day they are unmatchable. Salman Butt rightly dedicated the victory to the flood victims.

Irrespective of the result at Lords, Pakistan can rate the summer of Test Cricket as a success with plenty of bright moments to come in the foreseeable future. The learning curve for the debutants and youngsters must have been like no other. Well played Greens, keep it up!

5 comments:

Wasim said...

Good review MaazYou have covered every thing. I think the players are beginning to settle down in those conditions, Farhat and Azhar were criticized a lot for their slow innings but anybody who has played with cricket ball and understands test cricket knew what they were trying to achieve, I think both players now have learned that they have to play strokes also in the first two matches they were a bit too defensive.

Aamer and Ajmal finally found their mojo, Aamer was bowling too wide off the crease and was bowling on the pads frequently now he is bowling from much closer to the wickets and is much more effective.

Ajmal was bowling too quick in the first innings, I think this match will give him a lot of confidence.

Riaz surprised everyone, I knew he will bowl better than Umar Gul but I didn't knew that he will get Six wickets in the match. His extra pace was the difference.

I don't think Younis will be playing in the 4th test I predicted a few weeks ago that MF Ijaz butt will bring him back in ODis where he knows Younis is not that effective.

Maaaaz @ BBK (Maza786) said...

Wasim

Yeah Imran Farhat is ideal for the situations like the 4th innings when he goes out there and just attacks and plays his natural game. This prevents the team from getting bogged down early on and releases any kind of potential pressure. I noticed that you were one of his critics beforehand but now you are beginning to appreciate his performance more which many supporters do not if they have criticised a player they immediately want him to fail to prove they are right but we should support whoever is in the 11 when they are batting etc. After they have done whatever, then we can start to criticise.

Ajmal well he has the best well disguised doosra in the world. Even Murali and Saqlain could not match him when it comes to bowling that delivery in my view.

Younis Khan did not do well in Australia in the ODI series their but I have a feeling he will do well in England this time round. I would prefer YK over Yousuf in ODI cricket and feel he will do a good job when it comes to rotating the strike with Malik in the middle overs. He is a very good sweeper of the ball and likes to improvise so he has certainly got the shots required.

Stani Army said...

I think Asif loves using the slope at Lord's. Look for him to be very effective.

Akmal's batting will never improve in these conditions. He is always rooted to the spot. Bad habits picked up from batting on good wickets where you only need hand eye to get away with runs. In English conditions you need to use your legs and feet and Akmal will always be found out.

I agree, I think the tour is a success so far.

Maaaaz @ BBK (Maza786) said...

Bearing in mind these are Kamran Akmal's scores with the bat this summer: 0/46/15/13/0/0/10/0

I hope he gets his batting sorted out. He is playing away from his body with angled bat all the time. Easy wicket for fast bowlers currently. Shot selection is very poor. His off side strokes are his weakness currently. He is an easy victim atm....very very low on confidence... hitting everything in the air

I would recommend that Kamran Akmal just tries to counter attack when he bats rather than hanging around and looking to play himself in and build an innings. Perhaps by playing with freedom he will be able to find his form and touch.

His keeping is unreliable. In the last match he was good, but its too early to say anything like this: he has improved!

Maaaaz @ BBK (Maza786) said...

TJ

May the success continue..........

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