New Zealand 2009 December 14, 2009

Ridiculous to the sublime

 
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Mohammad Yousuf has demonstrated that he is willing to apply himself to fight a rearguard, which has been the one chink in his formidable armour © Getty Images
 

Pakistan batted so differently in the two innings at Napier that it might have been a different team second time around. It was almost a different wicket, without any of the troubling pace and bounce of the first day, a Pakistani wicket in fact. Indeed, the blind panic that inflicted Pakistan's batsmen on the opening day has been banished by a determined effort that helped reconnect them with the disciplines of Test cricket.

Where Imran Farhat and co flashed and thrashed, they now defended and left well alone. If anything, Pakistan have been too cautious in their second innings to put themselves in a strong position to win this match. The new risk reduction method was applied with almost tyrannical zeal by Mohammad Yousuf as he repeatedly gave Umar Akmal "the eyes" whenever the new champion became overambitious.

For a while Umar nodded and played in submission, but a running mix-up soon put paid to that as the old pro and young pup had an impassioned exchange. It is impressive that Umar has such conviction for a teenager, even though his backing up technique is straight from school 3rd XI cricket. After letting off some steam, Umar decided to occasionally free his arms again.

Surprisingly, Yousuf was the next to go when you might have fully expected Umar's frustration to get the better of him. But despite failing to secure a century, Yousuf has demonstrated that he is willing to apply himself to fight a rearguard, which has been the one chink in his formidable armour. The captaincy has strange effects on people, and this outcome has been an important benefit of Yousuf's leadership.

Overall, Pakistan's much criticised batsmen can be pleased with their application in the second innings here. The Test and the series, however, remain in the balance and the next session will be crucial. Pakistan will need a lead approaching 250 to secure a draw, a sublime result after the ridiculous first-innings debacle.

Follow me on Twitter during the first session: http://twitter.com/KamranAbbasi

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • pathan on December 16, 2009, 13:14 GMT

    salam rain saved pakistan.and it was very disapoiting that yousaf said we also wanted to draw it.what impact u put on other teams that we r so weak.he should have not said like that.sami has been reecalled what is pcb doing sami has only pace no swing.it is really out of thinking.mohamad asif looked out of shape in last innings.

  • mqi on December 16, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    Pakistan is very lucky that rain helped them from a humiliating 2-1 series defeat. The simple draw condition on the 5th day was turned to a defeat situation by the irresponsible batting of Misbah first and Umar Akmal and amer and Kaneria next. Why din't these player undersatnd that they needed to stay in the crease 10 more overs to ensure a draw at that point. When will these idiots know little better math for overs and runs. My second point is why NZ batsmen were so fluent and easy to score in the same pitch when the pak players were struggling? My answer is NZ have better players, both in batting and in their limited source of bowling. Finally get ready for a 3-0 australia series soon.The hopeless management, and the team deserve that. If good sense works in the mind of the selectors, they will see what all these comment writers make the right team for australia tour. You have a faulty team as of now.

  • faiz farooqui on December 16, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    md yousuf s a very good player as wel as a good captain and also md asif have a chance toplay against australia in test as well as odi and t 20

  • faiz farooqui on December 16, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    md yousuf s a very good player as wel as a good captain and also md asif have a chance toplay against australia in test as well as odi and

  • Rashid on December 16, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    Mohammed Sami again ! only a fool does not learn from his mistakes.Sohail khan would have been million times better on a fast Australian pitch.

  • EAMiran on December 16, 2009, 5:26 GMT

    Mohammed Sami!!! PCB!!! From the sublime to the ridiculous! A bowler who averages 51 per wicket in test cricket after playing several games. Shocking recall and more over an absolutely atrocious selectorial decision.

    Mohammed Akram, Mohammed Zahid, Mohammed Sami. Pak's infamous trio of underachieving pacers, all with the first name Mohammed. Unfortunately for Zahid, a back injury destroyed his career and he was never the same since. Although Aamer has played only 6 tests and is on a learning curve, I fear his career is tracing the pathway created by his namesakes. Certainly his bowling average and strike rate are headed the wrong way. His greatest deficiency is the inability to bend the ball back in to right handed batsmen consistently. While this can be glossed over in shorter formats where batsmen have to go at balls leaving them, in tests they can simply choose to not play such deliveries. Hopefully Aamer will not join the growing list of failed Mohammeds.

  • Abdul on December 15, 2009, 21:53 GMT

    Your next blog can be a continuation of this one kamran

    Ridiculous to the sublime.... TO THE DOWNRIGHT FORTUNATE!!

    Well done on the application by the batsmen second time out though. 1-1 in Australia would be as big as winning T20 WC!

  • nasir raza dar on December 15, 2009, 19:45 GMT

    It was a good work in the second innings but still need lot to be done keeping in mind next assignment in Australia & in my opinion Shoaib Malik should be left out from the touring party keeping in view his form over the past one year, should bring back Younis to fill the vacuum at #3, also bring back Afridi in test side & Faisal should bat at # 6 or 7 with Younis at #3 followed by Yousaf,Omer,Faisal,Afridi,kamran,Aamir,Gul,Asif & if you don`t need an extra batsman then Afridi can replace an opener or drop Faisal.That is the best available playing eleven in Australia as in Afridi you have an extra striking bowler in your fold.

  • nawap on December 15, 2009, 17:30 GMT

    thanks to rain...that pakistan survived but there are lot positives to take from this match....an improving batting display by the batsman...less rash shots .....and willingness to do better....anyway result of 1-1 is not bad....but they need to show more character and application in australia....best of luck to the team...

  • Sohel Rugby on December 15, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    Well pleased with the result but still feel Yusaf is not captncy material he doesnt give out that omff and extra presence of the likes of S AF cap or the AUS cap and his comment that we were lucky was not very well thought out coz the way the lads batted was brill.As a batsman yep Yusaf top draw but not cap'in def.

    big up to the Akmal bros well done!

    Amir great find!!and keep the faith with my fav Sho malik he will come thro Inshallah

    as far is Yunis is concearned dont need that arrogant git in the side it should be about the Love of the Country were is the respect for Green flag you play under all other issues are B...Sh..

  • pathan on December 16, 2009, 13:14 GMT

    salam rain saved pakistan.and it was very disapoiting that yousaf said we also wanted to draw it.what impact u put on other teams that we r so weak.he should have not said like that.sami has been reecalled what is pcb doing sami has only pace no swing.it is really out of thinking.mohamad asif looked out of shape in last innings.

  • mqi on December 16, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    Pakistan is very lucky that rain helped them from a humiliating 2-1 series defeat. The simple draw condition on the 5th day was turned to a defeat situation by the irresponsible batting of Misbah first and Umar Akmal and amer and Kaneria next. Why din't these player undersatnd that they needed to stay in the crease 10 more overs to ensure a draw at that point. When will these idiots know little better math for overs and runs. My second point is why NZ batsmen were so fluent and easy to score in the same pitch when the pak players were struggling? My answer is NZ have better players, both in batting and in their limited source of bowling. Finally get ready for a 3-0 australia series soon.The hopeless management, and the team deserve that. If good sense works in the mind of the selectors, they will see what all these comment writers make the right team for australia tour. You have a faulty team as of now.

  • faiz farooqui on December 16, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    md yousuf s a very good player as wel as a good captain and also md asif have a chance toplay against australia in test as well as odi and t 20

  • faiz farooqui on December 16, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    md yousuf s a very good player as wel as a good captain and also md asif have a chance toplay against australia in test as well as odi and

  • Rashid on December 16, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    Mohammed Sami again ! only a fool does not learn from his mistakes.Sohail khan would have been million times better on a fast Australian pitch.

  • EAMiran on December 16, 2009, 5:26 GMT

    Mohammed Sami!!! PCB!!! From the sublime to the ridiculous! A bowler who averages 51 per wicket in test cricket after playing several games. Shocking recall and more over an absolutely atrocious selectorial decision.

    Mohammed Akram, Mohammed Zahid, Mohammed Sami. Pak's infamous trio of underachieving pacers, all with the first name Mohammed. Unfortunately for Zahid, a back injury destroyed his career and he was never the same since. Although Aamer has played only 6 tests and is on a learning curve, I fear his career is tracing the pathway created by his namesakes. Certainly his bowling average and strike rate are headed the wrong way. His greatest deficiency is the inability to bend the ball back in to right handed batsmen consistently. While this can be glossed over in shorter formats where batsmen have to go at balls leaving them, in tests they can simply choose to not play such deliveries. Hopefully Aamer will not join the growing list of failed Mohammeds.

  • Abdul on December 15, 2009, 21:53 GMT

    Your next blog can be a continuation of this one kamran

    Ridiculous to the sublime.... TO THE DOWNRIGHT FORTUNATE!!

    Well done on the application by the batsmen second time out though. 1-1 in Australia would be as big as winning T20 WC!

  • nasir raza dar on December 15, 2009, 19:45 GMT

    It was a good work in the second innings but still need lot to be done keeping in mind next assignment in Australia & in my opinion Shoaib Malik should be left out from the touring party keeping in view his form over the past one year, should bring back Younis to fill the vacuum at #3, also bring back Afridi in test side & Faisal should bat at # 6 or 7 with Younis at #3 followed by Yousaf,Omer,Faisal,Afridi,kamran,Aamir,Gul,Asif & if you don`t need an extra batsman then Afridi can replace an opener or drop Faisal.That is the best available playing eleven in Australia as in Afridi you have an extra striking bowler in your fold.

  • nawap on December 15, 2009, 17:30 GMT

    thanks to rain...that pakistan survived but there are lot positives to take from this match....an improving batting display by the batsman...less rash shots .....and willingness to do better....anyway result of 1-1 is not bad....but they need to show more character and application in australia....best of luck to the team...

  • Sohel Rugby on December 15, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    Well pleased with the result but still feel Yusaf is not captncy material he doesnt give out that omff and extra presence of the likes of S AF cap or the AUS cap and his comment that we were lucky was not very well thought out coz the way the lads batted was brill.As a batsman yep Yusaf top draw but not cap'in def.

    big up to the Akmal bros well done!

    Amir great find!!and keep the faith with my fav Sho malik he will come thro Inshallah

    as far is Yunis is concearned dont need that arrogant git in the side it should be about the Love of the Country were is the respect for Green flag you play under all other issues are B...Sh..

  • khan_najam on December 15, 2009, 16:46 GMT

    i think wahab riaz or sohail khan should be in instead of mohammad sami

  • RAZA RIZVI on December 15, 2009, 15:24 GMT

    Hi, To all who got emotional and were saying that we will win come on guys wake up. This team is not going anywhere there is no leadership , I mean any one who thinks that Yousf and his deputy Akmal are ledaers need do see a doctor then to top all this we have players that are really well connected with the highups of the Cricket Board otherwise if we look at logically do these players really deserve a chance 1)Misbah 2)Shoaib 3)Farahat 4) Butt 5)Faisal, and look at the hindsight of Yousef and Inti our briliant coach plus our selectors that send Misbah and for selecting this team. I do not blame Younis for leaving the team when you got jokers running the setup I can say for my self that I will not watch Pakistan cricket till something is done from top to the bottom, I have no problems if the team losses but it is the way they loose that make me upset and also the way the selectors and the board chairman are doing things I love Pakistan cricket and cant see them being looted by looters

  • Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui on December 15, 2009, 7:24 GMT

    With combine efforts from top order in second inning, we have saved the series by 1-1 although we are going to loose.

    We should praise Imran Farhat for his 117 not out and 61, both innings helped us to not only draw the match but also series.

    Only one bowler proved himself by grabbing seven wickets totally that is Kaneria in this match. Once again he proved himself. In current team, he is the only bowler with more than 200 wickets in test cricket. If he will continue, he will soon take 300 wickets in test match. He also has an ability to break Wasim Akram record of 414 wickets.

    So many ocassions, he has turned matches to our favor so quickly that we should praise him. Like in 2005, while W. Indies were chasing 280 runs, within nine he took wickets of Sarwan, Chanderpaul and Lara and snatched the victory from them and turned the series to 1-1 instead of 2-0 as I think statistic alone cannot judge the exact. He played 22 test matches in which Pakistan has won.

  • Anu on December 15, 2009, 6:23 GMT

    Good work, by the batsmen! First time in the series that they have truly batted with responsiblity! Although we should have won 2-0 but anyway 1-1 is not that bad. Best of luck to the team for the tough tour of Australia.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA USA on December 15, 2009, 5:18 GMT

    Chasing only 208 the NZ Openers are at the crease with 90 for no loss. The pitch has nothing to offer for our bowlers and defeat is staring at them. Outfield is wet and Danish cant do much with a wet ball. So lets hope for a miracle to save this test and series. Yusuf has to keep Asif at one end and Danish at the other to keep the run rate economical. Gul has given away plenty of runs. Bravo boys keep up the fight and go down fighting.

  • Mick on December 15, 2009, 5:10 GMT

    If compared to India or Australia Pakistani batting has still a long way to go. In the second innings, although the top four scored 50 plus but none of them went beyond 100 including Yousuf. Look at what Shewag did against Sri Lanka ? He went on and on… That’s what Pakistani batsmen have to do become a great team. Yousuf had score 80 plus at the end of the fourth day but he was quick to go right at the start of the fifth day. Pakistani batsmen should have taken initiative in their first innings by posting a big total which could have won the game for them. It’s too risky to leave everything for the second innings. Pakistan’s second innings total shows if they concentrate they can bat but more application is needed in the test arena.

  • yousaf javaid on December 15, 2009, 3:45 GMT

    salam. fire the player if they are not in good form and bring new young blood . in to the team. give the young people a chance. thanks . any body send me e mail thanks. ym javaid from usa.

  • Kan_2009 on December 15, 2009, 2:47 GMT

    It is this type of tests that keep alive the hopes of the best type of cricket..totally in contrast to SL vs India

  • Dar on December 15, 2009, 0:23 GMT

    The batting has been below par in this whole series for Pakistan. They haven't played enough test matches against good teams. Also the batsmen aren't well groomed for test level except Yousaf. Yousaf is not an ideal candidate for captaincy and it has affected his batting. You need leadership skills for it and I'm sorry to say but no one in the team has skills of leading a team. This team has no chance against Australia in test matches on their home turf. The team is very young so it needs time to develop.

  • Frustation on December 14, 2009, 23:57 GMT

    Frustation - because they play very defensive and throw wicket

    Suggestion - instead play aggressive and loose wkt hence some score on board

    Lesson - Dont drop Misbah Faisal for the Aus test because new players will come and play for their survival not for the team

    Conclusion - Selectors stop making mistakes let player settle till Eng tour, definitely new players or YK or so not going to help the team, they need to take their own sweet time like Farhat, Salman, Iqbal, Misbah did at the cost of team's victory. If you really want to make a change bring only Afridi and Razack. Enough is Enough.

  • arif on December 14, 2009, 23:03 GMT

    What made Richards, Sachin, Lara, Sobers et al great batsman--positive approach, sound technique and agression. What made Aus and India at the top...positive cricket and agression.

  • abbas ali moghul on December 14, 2009, 22:53 GMT

    I think Palkistan just make 175 plus and declare and go for the kill against he weak nz...inshallah victory will be ours. also please vote for the ouster of mohd yousuf, he really seems like a fake captain, plus his batting is weighed down by the added responsibility of being captain.

  • MNA on December 14, 2009, 22:38 GMT

    Why some idiots are shouting for YK to come back? Why should he come back? This selfish, self-centred coward piece of crap who left the side because he wanted to rest? gimme a break, how many matches has he played in last two years when the whole team has been literally sitting back home begging other teams to visit. This man has bipolr disorder, he makes up his own mind when to play and when not to, and he has done this on multiple occasions to pakistan.I would prefer paksitani team to lose every test if they have to provided the boys go out in the middle n fight it out, wining n losing is important, but more imporant is the fighting spirit that one has to show. Also, what YK has done in recent times apart from dropping an absolute sitter in semi final of ICC champion's trophy that even Joef Bycott's granma could have picked up like plucking off a smurff bery

  • khawaja Ikram Ul Haq on December 14, 2009, 22:30 GMT

    pakistan has brought the match around and should give teh new zealand a chance to chase say a 200 after batting quickly in teh morning...they have the batsmen who can score quickly at teh crease and captainship will obviously be in the spotlight since teh new zealand batsmen theoretically wont be able to score quickly against kaneria..the batsmen have to realize that the hot harder wickets in australia night be better and the selectors might send in say two replacement batsmen...some bright youngsters as suggested by one of comments above.. might be nasir jamshed, umer amin, azhar ali...might be even ghumman from teh under 19 squad...there also might be injurie sin autralia and teh board should be ready with visa and tickets for the replacements...pakistan also has a couple of tall emerging fast bowlers who could take wickets on any surface...batsmen should be told that they need tobe able to bat on any surface and consistency is the key...

  • Atif on December 14, 2009, 22:23 GMT

    Pakistan need better first three batsman than Imran, Salman and Faisal. PERIOD. Rest of the team is great.

  • Masood on December 14, 2009, 22:10 GMT

    I am increasingly disgruntled by comments suggesting exclusion Farhat, Butt and Faisal from the team. While I do not disagree exclusion of Malik and Misbah, I believe Farhat, Butt and Faisal are the best available options we have right now. Yes, there are few problems with their techniques, but with right coaching they can certainly improve. When Gautam Gambhir started his career, he had flaws in his technique, but he gradually overcame his flaws and now he is a solid batsman. Keep shuffling players is not the solution.

  • Aarif Ahmed on December 14, 2009, 22:08 GMT

    I was frustrated to see the batting colapse in the first innings, and had lost hope of a come back after the new zealand reply, but thanks to the captain cool, and sublime display of batting by umar(the future of pakistan cricket) like millions of pakistan cricket lovers confidence and the hope of not losing the series is back,

  • Butt on December 14, 2009, 22:02 GMT

    Unforrtuately Misba (king of flat & weak bowling) , Butt, farhat & faisal scored in this flat wicket. Now they will reserve thier seats. again. Pakistan needs to look for the futrure and should not give many chances to anyone. On one hand we pulled out Asim Kamal after his extra ordinary performance, Nine times he scored more that 50 runs in 12 test career. No captain fight to bring back but Misba came back after only one match. Khalid latif scored two innings in last tow one days but he is out from the team. Karachi blues is on top in quaid-e-azam trophy buut not a single player from that team has been selected for austrlia tour. why ???

  • PakiMunda on December 14, 2009, 21:39 GMT

    What Pakistan needs is to be more aggrasive from one side of the batting (Umar Akmal) and a little defensive on the other Side (Misbah). As long as they can bat till lunch they should be okay. What you guys think of that?

  • imtiaz on December 14, 2009, 21:37 GMT

    Two points: First, I think Mohammad Yousuf would have made his 25th century, but his concentration was interrupted due to rain; and second, I think they should have played an all-rounder such as Abdur-Rauf instead of Faisal Iqbal who being only a batsman does not seem to possess much batting skills either. It is always good to put variety into the bowling every now and then as vettori did with Guptill.

  • Links Vexier on December 14, 2009, 21:31 GMT

    Pakistan should be feeling confident, I'm not as a NZ supporter, what scares me is the possibility of NZ having to bat 60 overs chasing something over 200, with Kaneria bowling from one end for the whole innings.

  • Wasim on December 14, 2009, 21:25 GMT

    Pakistani players did well and played within their limitations, they would have risked the match and the series if they had played aggressively and lost a few more wickets. Pakistan conceded too much lead because of their poor fielding, and perhaps Yousaf misread the pitch he should not have batted on it first the pitch eased out after tea on the second day. Vettori was too defensive he could have gotten afew more wickets if he had kept an an aggressive field. Yousaf sensibly controlled and guided Faisal Iqbal and Umar Akmal if Pakistan had lost one more wicket they would have been in deep trouble. They are still not out of trouble Misbah and Umar will have to ensure that they score another 50 runs without losing a wicket and from there on they should play aggressively. A lead off 225 will be more than enough if it is achieved before lunch.

  • Danyal Afzal on December 14, 2009, 21:22 GMT

    Gud luck pakistan for the 5th day, let's clinch the series. :)

  • Imran on December 14, 2009, 20:46 GMT

    No body scored a 100 and yet this was sublime batting? Yeah right! Without disrespecting anyone I must say that the fact that No Pakistani Batsman scored a 100 against an unimpressive New Zealand bowling Line up on a feather-bed where Tuffey got 80 not out and only missed a test 100 because he ran out of partners is not a good sign, before a tough tour of Australia.

    I must add this Wkt is a carbon copy of the Christchurch Wkt where Saqlain Mushtaq got a test 100 I Think all the batsmen except Umar Akmal were over defensive and missed a lot of scoring opportunities. I would have liked to see them being a bit more positive especially after the start they got. That's why despite batting for 161 overs the match is still not safe. Players like Faisal Iqbal and Salman Butt missed yet another chance to cash in and improve their poor test record. Pakistan is not playing any Home Tests in the near future I dont think they will get many chances to bat on Wkts like this too often.

  • Moazi on December 14, 2009, 20:33 GMT

    I think Pakistan has done a decent job by playing a safe and steady second innings. However, i still cant fathom the way our two TEST OPENERS got out. We certainly know how to make careers. Guptill owes a drink to these two fellas....

  • Krishna on December 14, 2009, 20:28 GMT

    Guys, A test match cannot be won until it can be played with winning spirit,looking at the run rate and attitude of Pakistan batsmen it seems they are playing to save this match,probably they may be successful but with teams like Australia this attitude will lead to marginal defeat. Best of Luck fellas.

  • cjs on December 14, 2009, 20:15 GMT

    If in 5 years Pakistan still has players like Amir, Kamran, and Umar I beleive they are heading in the right direction. Good players like Abdur Razzak, Azhar Mahmood, Basit Ali and Saqlain were unfairly treeated. It's tough for the Pakistan team as they cannot play at home or at the IPL. Also I hear about openers doing just enough to retain their place. It take time to adjust to different conditions. A 5 test series is the way to go. I do hope India Pakistan ties start again. Winning against Pakistan for an Indian is right up there. You can say you have won because Pakistanis will fight till the end. I hope the Indians and the Pakistanis do not involve in mud slinging but enjoy the artistic and skillfull game of cricket they bring out. It is nice to hear all the stories about the friendly way in which most of the spectators were treated when they resumed ties in Pakistan. I hope we get to enjoy more of such sentiments. It would be nice to see the top three teams in the world all Asians

  • M.Shehzad on December 14, 2009, 20:05 GMT

    Yesterday M.Yusuf ney jaisey Umar Akmal ko guide kiya dekhney jaisay they woh lamhey. Kiya hi baat hoti agar Fawad Alam ko es Match mey chance detey! As we knw U.Akmal was struggling at No.3 in 2nd Test.Similar thing happened to F.ALam. I think this is not fair. I hope Pakistan won this test match! Pakistan Zindabad

  • Fouad on December 14, 2009, 20:04 GMT

    @ Usama: These words spoken on tv are not copyright protected and writing them out is not plagarism. As for the article.. It is great that our batsman are scoring but it also shows how bad they were in the first innings... our tail enders scored half the runs for us and Imran Farhat scored the other half.. NZ batsmen also had no problems batting on this pitch.. This means Pak batsmen in first innings did not bat with focus or with responsibility.. Pretty sad for a series deciding match..

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg, VA. on December 14, 2009, 20:01 GMT

    After losing two quick wickets in a comical fashion, Mohammad Yusuf & Faisal Iqbal exercised the only option left to them. They stood at the stumps practically the entire day. Both played with caution and were never comfortable at the crease. They pushed themselves to play defensively against their nature. Credit should be given to Mohammad Yusuf & Faisal for keeping Pakistan in the fight to save this Test Match. If Umer and Misbah can take a cue from their Skipper, rise up to the occassion tomorrow,stay at the crease for the first hour or two, and gradually accelerate the run rate taking Pakistan to a lead of 250+ an upset may be on the cards.... Go Pakistan make it happen.

  • tahir on December 14, 2009, 19:50 GMT

    why is everyone talking about bringing younis back. what has he done lately., and also he is not willing to play.

  • cjs on December 14, 2009, 19:49 GMT

    Good article Kamran. This is not a pitch where any good team should loose but its about the mental toughness which reflects in a great player like Yusuf. Thoug I am an Indian I have been a great fan of players like Imran, Wasim,Saqlain and Saeed Anwar. Javed Miandad was the king. All though you want your team to win, you have to admire the tough competitor they are. Who can forget the Sharjah win ever. Pre-celeberations were stunted by that self beleiver, Javed, when 39 were needed off three overs with the last man only to accompany him. Javed would have given any bowler a nightmare so spare a thought for the average bowler Sharma, who bowled the last over. I do hope the seniors realize they are playing for their country rather than sides. Pakistan have always been talented. In fact more than India but they miss a strong and charismatic leader like Imran. I am happy with the guts of Amir and Umar. I still beleive Pakistan can rule the world.Preserve players who have faith in themselves

  • moghees on December 14, 2009, 19:32 GMT

    any player from the domestic circuit can come and perform wid a 30% strike rate with just blocking the ball..it is not hard..the talent is where you see the ability to score..the shots..like umar akmal..faisal iqbal..and the openers are doing well against this poor new zealand bowling lineup but once they face the aussies..they will be exposed..we need younis khan back!!!

  • chduahry on December 14, 2009, 19:20 GMT

    couple of more test series with the same lineup and we will be back in our test grove :)

  • usama on December 14, 2009, 19:04 GMT

    Ridiculous to the sublime...the title words have been taken from the commentary on Umar akmal's fabulous catch on 3rd day. With all due respect Mr. Kamran Abbasi, you would have to stray from this 'innovative' kind of plagiarism if you want your articles to be looking like more original, because off course otherwise you won't be considering your articles your own property and that won't be a very nice and professional feeling..Everybody listens to the commentators these days! no more plagiarism!

  • Iqbal_TO on December 14, 2009, 19:01 GMT

    Here my two cents: Pakistan performance with the bat and fielding is below par, and those players who have taken the credit already will fail big time in Australia. As they don’t have calibre nor class to represent Pakistan. Butt, Farhat, Iqbal, Misbah & Malik DO NOT deserve another chance, as they already got so many chances. Our Captain is also not creative and attacking enough. The prime example of his defensive state of mind that in all three matches, he did not use the fifth bowler, he should learned from Vetori, how he used part timer to get rid of settled batsman. Pakistan also thinking about Abdul Rauf, as Gul performance is not great in this series, Pakistan should give Rauf a chance, not only he is a good swing bowler but a very good batsman which add strength in our weak batting line-up.

    With regards to the match, it would be miracle if Pakistan save this test. My prediction is Pakistan losing by 7 wickets. They will all out by lunch giving NZ to chase 200.

  • Farooq on December 14, 2009, 18:31 GMT

    i think Pakistan should bat in first two hours of tomorrow's play and they should get a lead of 250+ then give a chance to newzealand to bat.To get victory in this match the Pakistan bowlers should ball very good like second test good luck Pakistan . may ALLAH give us victory in this match ...............

  • nawap on December 14, 2009, 18:21 GMT

    i think pakistan are playing very well....they have just been back to test arena after a long gap....they need time to develop the approach with time which i think is coming gradually, umar for me has been an outstanding find along with aamer..asif always had the potential in him...but to play aussie in aus they need to show lot of application and their temparement and moereover technique will be tested. thats why we need younus as number three....yousuf is finding some form....i think if opening batsman show some energy and responsibility..than its going to be handy team which may be able give aussie some nightmares....once pakistanis had a formidable batting display ..they are very difficult side to face.....bowlers have always shown their potential...for tomorrow....umar and misbah need to show some patience for first hour...then they need to reassess their strategy..decide go for a kill or draw..i would suggest for a kill,given the bowling line up pakistan has and a final day pitch

  • anon on December 14, 2009, 18:17 GMT

    You guys are way , way too critical of your own players.The only thing I've seen so far that you really have to fix is your fielding which probably costs you anywhere between 50 - 200 runs per innings.

    "Catches win matches"

    /cliche

  • khalil on December 14, 2009, 18:05 GMT

    We should recognise the fact that cricket is a game. As soon as we realise it.Our life will become very easy.

  • drmjalamgir on December 14, 2009, 17:47 GMT

    Pak team batting and pakspin blog both are showing improvement. Pak team can win against ausies,if they reduce their liability players like Sh.Malik, Faisal Iqbal,Khurum Manzoor,Abduraoof and possibly Salman Butt.There is plenty of fresh talent back home. When we got Mohammad Amir and umer akmal,Why we can,t get others like them from A team & other youngsters. I was realy disapointed watching Umer akmal exchanging arguements with Mohammad yousaf prompting him for his lousy and careless batting and running.I think this is the basic problem of Pak team, there seems no respect for the seniors.this attitude should be discouraged and taken careoff on dire basis.I believe this is the ridiculous part of our team. This started by PCB making Sh.Malik captin of the team on no grounds. The other ridiculous aspect is PCB. Needs drastic changes. Sublime will be completed by the return of Younis.

  • Aamir Jaleel on December 14, 2009, 17:46 GMT

    I am sorry these are the same cricket team of Pakistan who has been given enough chances. You think at stage of the senior players they will change techniques or continue to live on luck. Same team for Australia will give you same result as done in first inning, actually worse. Australia will not give you chances as done by NZ. Yousef is still OK but Misbah, Shoib, Younes, should retire. Farhat, Salman has been given enough chances so drop them and bring on new players like of Umar Akmal. Build your team for future around new players as done by India for last 5 years and look at them now. Pakistan are still rebuilding the same old players and just trying them on different positions. Now they are experimenting with Umar which will put too much pressure on him. Need new board, new younger coach not Miandad. Old is gold but there time has gone as cricket has change drastically and continue to change.

  • adnan on December 14, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    Tough luck if Yousuf got out but he had done a great job along with Faisal to put on a lead for us. My prediction is Pak will win if we give 'em 220 to chase. With this bowling line up on 5th day wicket I'd say we have won this game. There isn't any team in the world that can come close to our bowling ability to defend this total. We've done this when Wasim, Waqar, and Saqlain where there, we'll do this when we have Amer, Asif, and Kanerio, watch and learn. :)

  • Raza Rizvi on December 14, 2009, 17:30 GMT

    Mr Kamran your comments are what we read everytime in pakistani newspapers, I thought you were better then the regular writers, how can any one appreciate the innings played by the pakistani batsmen in the second innings , the only reason they survived is because the pitch they are playing on is like a dead road. I am totally amazed by the standards set by the Board and the so called paid selectors either they are on a different planet or they really dont care. I think AAmir Sohail was right about selecting Yasir Hameed and Mohd Wasim, I mean all you have to do is look at how Faisal Iqbal was playing shortpitch balls and how he got out. one thing more if Pakistan Cricket has to go forward then we should get rid of people who play plotics in the team let them go so they can join political parties and also players like Shoaib Malik Misbah and even senoir Akmal should be shown the door. Thanks

  • Mahmood on December 14, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    Team is in re building process. Australia is going to be hte real test. Today will be interesting day, and I do,nt know how but I think Pakistan will win! How? Making 250 plus and bowling out NZ between 150-200 scores! Let us see!

  • Sohaib Hassan on December 14, 2009, 17:18 GMT

    Tounis Khan fans would criticize M. Yousaf for being defensive, but yousaf did a splendid job uptil now. They lost the first test in an overambition with so few runs to get but falling like king pins. That is similar to the one is Srilanka. At that moment it looks they have not learn from their mistakes. But in the next test they came back with M. Asif spell and M. Yousaf century. Despite the potential of Asif, he is tried to kept at bay by Younis Khan in one of crucial Champions Trophy match. Whether he wants to protect Umar Gul from competition or having more supportive team members on his side. It is fact that when best competitors are sidelined, the team moral goes down as well as performance. For this test I would look forward to saving it rather than salviging for a win, a draw would be a better option. Lead should be of 250 which is still a task for a fragile and unpredictable batting order. Even than a clever Dan would go for a win by opening from McCullum and speedy chase.

  • Faisal on December 14, 2009, 17:00 GMT

    Good effort so far by Pakistan, now Umar and Misbah need to put a good partnership to get to formidable total,,,,,,,,,,, and we need Afridi in our test side too,,,,, Younis we need him badly for Australia series i hope he gets some sense and start thinking about the country instead of his own ego........

  • Nomi on December 14, 2009, 16:54 GMT

    So far NZ got upper hand in the match, but Pak has done well, when u got 250 trail.. u have to bat carefully without taking risk. But YES Pak RPO is too low.. if this runrate is about 3.3 -3.5 Pak would hv a better chance to win the match n win the series. But as alwys pak is unperdictable

  • Hibs on December 14, 2009, 16:48 GMT

    While I am happy for the application shown by the batsman in the second innings,it is still very disappointing to see the two 'test class' openers to fall to a chap of Guptill's bowling skills. Faisal Iqbal though scored 67,remains to be recognised as a test class bat. Poor poor pakistani batting class is chronic now. We lost two winnable tests in Sri Lanka that world now laughs at our batting 'strength'. However no steps have been taken by the PCB to correct this chronic batting weakness. Very recently Geoff Boycott ridiculed our pitches in Pakistan as those where his mother could bat easily!!

  • Raahim on December 14, 2009, 16:28 GMT

    The first test was supposed to be pakistan's. They should not have lons that in the first place. They lost by 32 runs or something like that. The target new zealnd set was too low for test cricket and they still couldn't reach it. I was absolutely shocked. They should have won. I am a pakistani myself and however I do wish they win this test.

  • Faisal Akhtar on December 14, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    I kind of agree with you Shazzy. But we can still win this match if we bat until lunch and somehow add another 100 runs and let NZ Chase it. I personally think NZ batsmen got lucky and scored some runs in the first innings. Chasing a total of over 200 within two sessions will definitely challenge them. Hopefully Umar Akmal can score a quick century tomorrow !! Go Pakistan

  • zahid malik on December 14, 2009, 16:16 GMT

    i think it is very difficult for pakistan to go for win as they have one only kamran akmal remains and one two wickets early morning will allow newzeland their first series win.secondly pakistan has to go austrlia after and going losing 2 to 1 will be deprive their confident. although australin they have good side and their pitiches are always created problem to pakitani batsmans but after leveling the series against newzeland they can go with confident and make fight against australian.

  • Shahid on December 14, 2009, 16:02 GMT

    This should really help the Pak batsmen leading into the Australia series starting in little less than two weeks.

  • Shahid on December 14, 2009, 15:50 GMT

    At last Miandad's nephew made it to fifty and reached the milestone of 1000 runs even if the poor guy had to lose his wicket a whole 38 times for that. Is it so poor level of cricket talent or state of coruption in Pakistan that Faisal is judged to be the best available batsman to replace any vacant spot in the team for last many years. On a wicket where likes of Ghambir, Sehwag and Dravid had butchered NZ with double or triple hundreds, poor faisal survived through luck at least 10 times to score his 60 odd runs. It must be hard on those talented young lads who with lot of talent and exeptional showings on domestic scene, are wasted because of Faisal, Butt, Shoaib and Misbah. Though Farhat isn't been better but his showings in last two matches do entitle him to some relief. I would have prefered the following to represent us in tests.

    Taufiq Umar Imran Farhat Younis Khan Mohamad Yousef Umar Akmal Naved Yasin Kamran Akmal the 4 Bowlers Reseves: Fawad Alam Azhar Ali M. Rameez Saeed a

  • Naveed on December 14, 2009, 15:47 GMT

    I believe Pakistan should try to take a lead of about 250 and let New Zealand have a session and a half and have a crack at it maybe...

  • Salman from UK on December 14, 2009, 15:46 GMT

    I just want to share stats of Misbah-ul-Haq that how much he is an ordinary player. Rameez Raaj always said that he was a T20 specialist but actually he was never been. Did he ever win a match for us on his on. Apart from his foolish short in last Year T20 worlcup againt India he has never been a good bastman. Let me clear my stance on Misbah he is very good bastman ,strong from mind and quite determine too but only problem is lack of courage he is to coward to play shorts. Misbah the T20 Specialist has only 38 strike rate(SR) in test match . What a miserable SR. If he was a T20 speicalist then 38 strike rate dont justify him with average of just 37. Even Afridi could have been better than him. he is heighly overrated and intimidated person.

  • Mujahid Zaheer on December 14, 2009, 15:45 GMT

    Pakistan must secure the test first by batting out the fist session and stretching the lead to upto 180 atleast.They should then come out post lunch and try to score as quickly as possible to take the lead around 230 to 250.Once there is a formidable lead then Asif and co seamers with the trump card kaneria have the potential to shake the Newzealand batting.We need sensible and aggressive batting and captaincy tomorrow.I am hopeful,is anyone else too?

  • WAQAR HASSAN on December 14, 2009, 15:44 GMT

    IF PAKISTAN'S REMAINING BATSMEN SURVIVED THE 1ST HOUR'S PLAY, I AM CONFIDENT THEY CAN BUILD A LEAD WHICH CAN BE A CHELLENGAING TARGET FOR THE OPPOSITION

  • rabbani on December 14, 2009, 15:35 GMT

    well, the match is very balanced...i wish Umar and Bara Akmal play the aggressive innings of their lives and Umar make a quick 100 and take Pakistan to a strong position.....I am wondering why Abdul Rauf has not played...He is a good alrounder maybe to replace batsman...Hope that would happen in Australia.

  • M.Khan on December 14, 2009, 15:08 GMT

    We need Afridi in the tour of Aus.whats the different it makes if he doesn't score in the match at least he will not drop catches & bowl some good overs. What the hell Misbah is for? he is not batting at no.3 position sending youngster at top & not scoring even 30's..What experience matter i didn't understand is the age or number of games. please give chance to A.Razzaq at least he can save us with the bat or Ball. Please ignore Younus he run away from the team. he shouldn't be come back.. Give Afrid & A.Razzaq a chance they will prove them self.

  • Irfan on December 14, 2009, 15:02 GMT

    Guys let's face it; Pak is a bottom rung team and plays like one. All that nonsense about them being a mercurial team is just plain hoot. These idiots got some reasonable scores up because there was no life left in the wicket and even then they were swishing and swashing. Even though the pitch played like a true Pak pitch! Where they thrive! How many chances like this are they gonna get every time they go out to play. They basically played to keep their positions secured in the team. The fought today so they could positively fail another day and they will. You think we can get by with openers like Farhat and Butt; dream on. Only players to display grit and steel is Akmals, Aamir and Gul. Bowlers are shouldering the responsibility to put up a good total. You would think that after a better start they would go after the bowling to win the match. But that would be a strategy fraught with danger! No body wants that. This is a LOSER team, will stay like this unless fundamental are changed

  • sharaf khan on December 14, 2009, 14:59 GMT

    salam u saying it good bating.i cant say it good bating.if a bowler like tufy who never know how to bat can score 78not out.and vetori can score 138 than how will be that pitch.none of our batsmans score hundered atleast of them should have score hundereed.

  • Kamran Hashmi on December 14, 2009, 14:56 GMT

    I hate to say that but Pakis did not play to win the match. The batters took too much time settling in, on a flat batting wicket where they could've easily gained a healthy lead of nearly 200 by this time if they had played at a runrate of 3.0 instead of 2.4 in this batting track. Dont forget the fact that NZ took 139 overs to score 471 runs in their first innings..

    Tomorrow's headline; "Another series we could not win"

    PS: also hate to see players like Imran Farhat, Butt, and Faisal Iqbal cementing their places for Aussies by playing for their places in this batting wicket... Shameful.

  • srinath on December 14, 2009, 14:47 GMT

    i think nz will clean up pakis in the morning session, with target say 175-200. god luck kiwis with love - srinath

  • Sohaib on December 14, 2009, 14:42 GMT

    I think that Pak has played a sensible 2nd innings after a terrible 1st innings disaster. I agree to the point that pak should play every game with a plan. I think one must admire the courage and determination, the youngsts are playing with (Akmal Brothers, Amir) etc. i think guiding umar by Yousaf was important because some times you have to tell the young champ what the situation is. At that point keeping wickets was much more important than just throwing an other important wicket to NZ. It was a nail biting series from the start...a lot of twists really made this series, and specially the last match very intersting. well in end i must say that we have to learn a lot from our mistakes in order to survive in Aus. specl inthe department of feilding and batting we have to work a lot. i think that we have got a good team right now and we have to work out on the mistakes rather than thinking of replacments. Our team just need a little encouragment and mental strength gudluk Pak!!!

  • Tahir Masood on December 14, 2009, 14:40 GMT

    Its almost 4th time in last 7 or 8 test matches that yousuf has managed to get out in 80s. he should learn to convert them into centuries. n pakistani team has been too defensive in 2nd innings they shud ve tried to up the tempo like vettori, mcculum n tuffey had taken it to pakistan despite early losses. however it was heartening to see pakistani top order getting runs. Best of lucks to team for tomorrow n their upcoming tour of australia.

  • Fahad Babar on December 14, 2009, 14:29 GMT

    I think that this game is going to go to the wire, because at any moment a wicket falls, the Pakistan batsmen will be under pressure, and this is a fact that Pakistan have a tendancy of batting collapse. I think this is a very crucial time to see the future of Umar Akmal. This is going to be one of the toughest times in his career, and he can get out of it, its going to show a lot of character from him.

  • singh on December 14, 2009, 14:28 GMT

    This is a close 1 brothers if pak can get a few more runs on the board a lead of 200 i would say is enuff for this very talented bowling attack to hold for a draw or u never no 5th day wkt i cud winsee the kiwis being bowled out this match certainly not finished yet cud sneek a victory

  • Fahad Babar on December 14, 2009, 14:28 GMT

    I think that this game is going to go to the wire, because at any moment a wicket falls, the Pakistan batsmen will be under pressure, and this is a fact that Pakistan have a tendancy of batting collapse. I think this is a very crucial time to see the future of Umar Akmal. This is going to be one of the toughest times in his career, and he can get out of it, its going to show a lot of character from him.

  • Shafiq Ashraf on December 14, 2009, 14:19 GMT

    It’s a false dawn; placid pitch and a poor NZ attack. We are going to get hammered in Australia. Our openers, Faisal Iqbal et al will be cruelly exposed more so than in NZ. If Guptil can get rid of our openers on a feather bed what the hell’s going to happen in Aus. We need Younis back and for the love of God we need Afridi back in the test team. You can’t tell me that Afridi at no6/7 is worse than Iqbal, Alam etc?

  • Arsalan Ghouri on December 14, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    Pakistan played with negative tactics. I can see the many collapses at opening slot in Australia tour.

  • Junaid on December 14, 2009, 14:11 GMT

    Well Played Mohd Yousaf, Salman, Imran, Faisal and Umar. I hope Misbah and Akmal brothers continue the good work tomorrow to give Pakistan a chance to win the series. Whatever will be the result but it was a great effort by team under Yousaf and Inshallah they will perform well in Austrailia as well. and no we don't need loser younis khan in Aus but I would like to see Afridi in test team as well.

  • Inty on December 14, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    A good performance second time round but lets not forget that it is on this flat track that a very average New Zealand batting piled up almost 500 runs!

    I would not call it sublime in any sense of imagination! The fact that the match lies in balance as we approach day 5 is a judgement in itself of the nadir Pakistan cricket finds itself in!

  • Irshad Shirazi on December 14, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    The only thing predictable about Pakistan is its unpredictability. That said, no one can say what the morrow holds. A batting collapse? Definitely possible, leaving all the good work of nearly five sessions undone through indiscretion. I don't think Pakistan has any chance of forcing a win so they should focus on getting to an unbeatable position and not throw away the game.

  • ashiq ali on December 14, 2009, 14:07 GMT

    Why they are not giving the chance to fawad Alam he is a good batsman he can open and good in the middle also replace him with shoib milk. its good to see Mohammed Asif Back Again

  • Gowhar Geelani on December 14, 2009, 13:59 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi, the problem I see in your majority of blogs is "lack of clarity". You seem quite diplomatic in your language so that you maintain a line 'yes n no' at the same time. In your previous blog you were critical of Farhat's century, especially the manner in which he scored it. The fact remains this bloke on his comeback has performed well, if not exceptionally decent! One knock of 20s, two of 30s, a century, a half-century, the guy has scored nearly 300 in six innings, is this consistency or consistency? Mr. Abbasi please be honest in your criticism, one doesn't become cricket pundit or an expert reading cricinfo, playing on the field facing Bond's, Lee's n Steyn's is a tough ask! And about all-defensive Pak skipper Mr. Yousuf, why can't this man believe that his team can win a match by playing positive cricket, not recklessly defensive! Misbah should be send back packing to Pakistan, so should be Shoaib, age is against the former and lack of committment against the latter!!

  • adeel ahmad on December 14, 2009, 13:57 GMT

    for get evrything and just pray for last day i don t wanna lose this test i love lot pak tem ......... hai jazba junon tu himmat na haar i love u all boys pak tem

  • Usman Bashir on December 14, 2009, 13:54 GMT

    I have seen few comments who are bothered by the defense put up by Pakistani batsman.I would imagine their comments might be more harder in case our shaky batsman got out while trying to "up" the scoring. We forget that whatever the pitch was,there were around 240 runs deficit and the batting line up does count only one trusted batsman. No team would put itself into danger considering how shaky your batting line up is. In these circumstances any captian would look for a draw and then try to win the match after reaching a secure point. Did they forget that even now pakistan is not out of danger as Akmal brothers could go in any direction at any moment leaving pakistan wondering what to do. Therefore , the best policy for today should be bat for one hour with caution and then be aggressive in later day to try out kiwies and give them scare with batting and bowling

  • Changezi on December 14, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    Pakistan has played well in the 2nd innings, but none cud get to triple figures that is disappointing, Hope they draw this match to win the series & gets some improvment on points table... For the Aussies tour I guess Farhat, Faisal & Butt needs to be replaced due to lack of form & ability to play at international level, Younus shud cm back, Misbah to be retained, Sohail Tanvir to be part of the squad cuz of un arthodox bowling style. I guess with these changes pakistan has fair chance to win/draw the series.

  • mustafa sheikh on December 14, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    well its good batting from M.Yousuf on 4th day and it plays a vital role in defending pakistan side..Well as i think its fantastic chance 4 PAKISTAN to cum back and hit newzealand..

  • Aman on December 14, 2009, 13:19 GMT

    Pakistan has always been inconsistent, i think that is what people now like about them that you can never take them lightly. As for batting, i think they need to have certain players assigned to playing watchfully and let the stroke makers play their game. Butt, Faisal and Yousuf are perfect for waiting game while Akmals and Younis/Shoaib can play their natural game.

  • the cricketer on December 14, 2009, 13:13 GMT

    Just one piece is missing from this team. Put Younis Khan in at number 3 and all is good with it. Can Yousuf not make a demand for Younis like he made for Misbah, please Yousuf do call for Younis and let us see a real Pakistan combat. The bowling needs the batters to bat long and Younis is one of the stalwart for that. One more thing the Pakistan batters lack concentration, they need to hold their head for long hours. Look at Yousuf and Iqbal, when they got the lead, it's like they lost it a bit there and start playing some rash shots, that's just a lack of concentration not technique. There are training to build concentration, these guys need some of those.

  • Usman Muzaffar on December 14, 2009, 13:07 GMT

    This sheer inconsistency is what makes our team stand out when compared with other cricket playing nations. I guess this is what makes our team all the more deadly because the opposition would always be in two minds playing the pakistani team. Just like Ramiz Raja said "I dont want this pakistani outfit to become consistent, we would lose our edge and become predictable". Much better batting exhibition no doubt, but can they bat out another 60 to 70 overs to put the kiwis out of the game, we shall all find it out tomorrow.

  • Kashif on December 14, 2009, 13:05 GMT

    Pakistan where forced to go defensive due to their 1st innings total and NZ putting on 450. i think Pak has played well to still be in with a chance. What matters now is whether Pakistan see the 5th day as a potential win, if they do then their mental attitue will help them to bat to put a decent total and their bowling and fielding must exert the pressure and take all chances if they wish to win. On the other hand, we all know Pak too well, they may just hand the test and series over to NZ as a Christmas present.

  • Sajid dar on December 14, 2009, 12:56 GMT

    I just luv pakistan from the core of my heart.nice to see umar playing in nice way.just hope that misbah comes good and silences his critics with his bat.

  • arslan on December 14, 2009, 12:55 GMT

    i think this where the difference between australia and other top sides and pakistan really shows...the aussies would hav taken the game to new zealand in the second innings when the pitch flattened out by batting aggressively and going for a win and i can also say that for india...but pakistan have lost the habit of winning test matches and are too defensive in their approach...

  • Shahzad on December 14, 2009, 12:42 GMT

    I agree Pakitan palyed much better in 2nd innings but still these were not careful inninings by Pakistani's but scareful. Wicket was straight having nothing for bowlers, batsmen should have maintained the run rate of 3/over with careful batting. That way at the end of 4th day Pakistan would have lead of 200 and by just playing 20 overs>100runs on 5th day morning they would have completed dominated the match. But 50 runs short on each of 3rd and forth day have made big diference towards draw.

  • Usman on December 14, 2009, 12:42 GMT

    I would rather call it "Ridiculous to survival", can't bother to watch such a thin batting line up up against bowling line up that is club level without Bond and exception of Vettori. Please somebody kick these 'jokers' out of team and bring back Yasir hameed, Asim kamal and Younis Khan. Can't imagine strike rates of 30s from openers, absolutely miserable. We must not be satisfied but lash back with more criticism. Cricket world would see whats gonna happen in Aaustralia, Pakistan top3 atleast + Test Match Specialist 'Uncle Misbah' would not score in double figures.

    Good luck Pakistan

  • Ali on December 14, 2009, 12:39 GMT

    Totally agree with you it was good for yousuf getting some cuz the next tour is not easy enough for Pakistan Team . Hope they will put some batter performance then this one . one thing for sure lack of test cricket is getting pakistani players .. hopefully things will come to normal :)

  • Suhail Chowdhary on December 14, 2009, 12:38 GMT

    Maybe just maybe... will we see a Pakistan side that will fight on and on so we can get draw and not a lost series? if not a win get a draw, i am sick and tired of Australia getting something out of a series they would fight and fight but not lose we need that hunger to keep going just dont lose! a drawn series in the history books it miles ahead of a lost series! M.Yousuf can only do good for the tea he is a Class Act one of the Best Pakistan have had and for Pak to drop him last year was the worst thing that Pak has ever done since being established! everyone scoring 50+ is not Pak but we need to start! after all a series win in Aus will be the icing on the cake after WT20!

  • Naeem ur Rehman on December 14, 2009, 12:32 GMT

    Based on the over performance of the team, I don't think they deserve to win the series. The batting and fielding have been embarrassing to say the least and our captain have lead from the front to make that happen. Yousuf has dropped sitters and is the worst fielder in the team with some distance, he cannot even throw from the out field. How can he ask his team to improve on the fielding? On the batting side he should have batted on the no. 3 position as he did in the last game when he came under a lot pressure from media and ex-players for sending young Umar at 3. More than once he got out by playing silly shots. His performance in the field as captain has been mediocre. Personally I would like Younis back in the team as captain for the Australian tour. If we win this series, it will be our bowling attack once again to take all the credit.

  • Milan on December 14, 2009, 12:32 GMT

    The continous success of opening pair of Pak suggest that how the good result comes if you show faith on somebody. But the actual worry is no. 3 position. The way Faisal Iqbal handling the short stuffs from Kiwi medium pacers, i am sure he'll gonna face a lot of troble against the Aussie quickies who consitently bowls at 150+ Km per hour. His footwork is terrible, always caught on the crease and he is not aggresive at all. Where is Mr. Younus Khan ?

  • khalid on December 14, 2009, 12:27 GMT

    Well as much as they have worked hard on this inning the point remains that they have messed up on the first one and in doing so they have let go of a golden opportunity of wining a series. Also what I would like to say is that Yousuf should not suppress the natural game of young Akmal. It is just like one tells Sehwag to block a 100 balls for the sake of it. He will not do that because that is not in him. I remember Afridi making a century against India in a test match, he hit them all around and as soon as he went to block he got out. May be its better for yousuf to let it go support the kid, encourage him to apply him self in the best possible way but not to dictate terms on others.

  • rauf on December 14, 2009, 12:24 GMT

    All batsmen start getting runs who were in fear of being dropped.Also, wen most are making comebacks and the wicket is a piece of cake. Yousuf is non-aggressive captain and happy with a draw.

  • Asif on December 14, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    Great job Pak batsmen - you have done Pak fans proud. Your batting has actually saved a test match.

    Plz continue with disciplined batting in Aus tour. The bowling is superb - as usual. No worries there. We can still beat Aus. For this match, most likely is either a draw or a NZ win (if they get quick wkts tom).

    Either way, Pak did a tremendous effort and thats what counts

  • Pathan on December 14, 2009, 12:20 GMT

    I admit - at least Pakistan have applied themseleves and battled to save this test match. Pakistan teams of the past may have just thrown it away after trailing by such a deficit.

    However, if Pakistan can't bat on a dead pitch where Tuffey scored 80 then where on earth on this planet will they be able to bat?

    This is a typical Pakistan pitch with no spin, no seam movement, no swing, no bounce. Easy! The real test is coming up when they head to Australia. Lets see how they cope with the pace and bounce. I have a terrible feeling that they will crumble over and over again.

  • Murtaza Khan on December 14, 2009, 12:17 GMT

    I like your note but I think there is more to Pak's first innings debacle than poor batting. There was a clear lack of a plan. All they needed to do was bat out the first session and then it was easy wicket. It seems to be that no one really recognised that and it is indeed quite often the case that Pak does not know how to approach test cricket in terms of a plan. We are always behind the game or even when we win we would be coming from behind. Test cricket requires a clear strategy to be well executed and hence keep the opposing team on the backfoot. Clearly, Pak would be better served with some quality leadership and cricketing brain. The other aspect is contending with pressure. Even with the current batting line up and lack of good technique, if they could execute on well laid out plans, and with the help of some mental toughness, Pak could be at least in the top 4 in the rankings. I praise Umar Akmal and Amir for challenging the paradigm of 'seniority' in the Pak team.

  • Noman on December 14, 2009, 12:07 GMT

    This one should rank among the best innings Yousuf has played. Pakistan should continue the cautious approach in tomorrow's first hour and supposing that they loose just one wicket in that hour for, say, 35-odd runs, they could up the ante in the next hour before lunch and may continue for half an hour more after lunch. That will ensure that the target set for NZ is about 225-250. Only problem is that if Pakistan doesn't get all out by the time, will Pakistan be willing to declare with 225-250 runs to defend. That fine line between being brave or stupid may be hard for define for a team that has not won or drawn a series in recent times.

  • Ahmad Malik on December 14, 2009, 12:01 GMT

    It has been great rearguard cricket from the top order, but i dont neccesarily agree with Pakistan playing out for a draw as Faisal Iqbal pointed out in his post. The difference between good teams and great teams is their ability to manufacture results from seemingly hopeless situations. I am not undermining the efforts of the top 5 so far, but the defensive mindset needs to shift a gear tomo morning, there are 96 overs left in this test barring any interruptions, the plan should be to bat another 36 overs and score 140 runs at a shade below 4 an over which is well within reach of the Brothers Bloom ( pronounced Akmal)and the Misbah Ul Haq of Old. That leaves Pakistans best bowling attack of the better part of this decade to exploit a NZ top order that has time and again failed to score 240 runs is 60 overs. Make a game of it......lesser bowlers have achieved a lot more.

  • Aurangzeb on December 14, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    I gave up on this match first morning - the series had gone, but since then Pakistan have shown a rare fighting quality and should get the deserved draw. That said, no reason why we should not have won this 3-0!

    None of this bodes well for an slightly weakened Australia series however - they will not let us off so easily.

    What they lack in spinners dept - is made up with the quicks, batting and fielding.

  • Waseem From Pakistan on December 14, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    Good Luck Team Pakistan I wish you people could won this match but i will be happy if you managed to draw it. As we were in way behind when we started our 2nd innings

  • Arshad on December 14, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    A draw would be a victory considering what our "TOP" order did in the first innings. Yousuf has swung between sublime and rediculous I agree.

    How much longer are we going to put up with Butt's Inconsistencies, Maliks "Agenda", Younis' mestruation mood swings, Misbah's extravagances & Farhat's lack of ability?

    We need a qualified and competent board!

    Why cant someone talk some sense (a difficult thing to do with a pathan) into Afridi. He has matured beyond all expectations, his average is better then the vast majority of our first XI and he can bowl, even test standard now, I would say. Retired at his age?

    One last point, Anderson and Broad quite rightly, stuck two fingers up at the IPL today in preperation for the Ashes and thier commitment to England. talent or not, that is what I call Patriotic, why cant our prideless bunch give Lalit Modi and the IPL the "bird" as well.

    They are treated like rubbish, insulted, and yet run back to India for money, shameless!

  • dil se on December 14, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    Finally Mohammad Yousaf has done enough to covince you to convince yourself to support him even if for one article.

  • adil on December 14, 2009, 11:24 GMT

    yeah 250 would b gud 2 secure draw for pak otherwise Nz has still got d window open for them.

  • Tarique Sayed on December 14, 2009, 11:18 GMT

    Pakistan,first should apply themselves and play the first hour patiently,Misbah and Umar will have to bat sensibly till lunch,given the slowness of the wicket devoid of any venom in it,I do not think New Zealand will end up losing on this wicket,so the best alternative will be to play the first two sessions carefully,it has been a fascinating series,I would have wanted Abdur Rauf to play as an additional bowler,who can bat,He is a fine prospect as a fast bowler,pakistan need to nurture him,as Waqar Younus is taking over,he will probably stress on it,Abdur Rauf,s inclusion would have been a positive approach,as many batsmen have been faltering,It is neccessary for the team to have four fast bowlers agaisnt the upcoming Australian Series.

  • Aamir Akhund on December 14, 2009, 11:12 GMT

    i am a little confussed.... and im not sure to be happy about our performance or be a little sad as i know that just on the bases of this innings a few of our incumbents player would get another chance against the aussies....i just hope Yonus gets some sense in his head and return to his national duties

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  • Aamir Akhund on December 14, 2009, 11:12 GMT

    i am a little confussed.... and im not sure to be happy about our performance or be a little sad as i know that just on the bases of this innings a few of our incumbents player would get another chance against the aussies....i just hope Yonus gets some sense in his head and return to his national duties

  • Tarique Sayed on December 14, 2009, 11:18 GMT

    Pakistan,first should apply themselves and play the first hour patiently,Misbah and Umar will have to bat sensibly till lunch,given the slowness of the wicket devoid of any venom in it,I do not think New Zealand will end up losing on this wicket,so the best alternative will be to play the first two sessions carefully,it has been a fascinating series,I would have wanted Abdur Rauf to play as an additional bowler,who can bat,He is a fine prospect as a fast bowler,pakistan need to nurture him,as Waqar Younus is taking over,he will probably stress on it,Abdur Rauf,s inclusion would have been a positive approach,as many batsmen have been faltering,It is neccessary for the team to have four fast bowlers agaisnt the upcoming Australian Series.

  • adil on December 14, 2009, 11:24 GMT

    yeah 250 would b gud 2 secure draw for pak otherwise Nz has still got d window open for them.

  • dil se on December 14, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    Finally Mohammad Yousaf has done enough to covince you to convince yourself to support him even if for one article.

  • Arshad on December 14, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    A draw would be a victory considering what our "TOP" order did in the first innings. Yousuf has swung between sublime and rediculous I agree.

    How much longer are we going to put up with Butt's Inconsistencies, Maliks "Agenda", Younis' mestruation mood swings, Misbah's extravagances & Farhat's lack of ability?

    We need a qualified and competent board!

    Why cant someone talk some sense (a difficult thing to do with a pathan) into Afridi. He has matured beyond all expectations, his average is better then the vast majority of our first XI and he can bowl, even test standard now, I would say. Retired at his age?

    One last point, Anderson and Broad quite rightly, stuck two fingers up at the IPL today in preperation for the Ashes and thier commitment to England. talent or not, that is what I call Patriotic, why cant our prideless bunch give Lalit Modi and the IPL the "bird" as well.

    They are treated like rubbish, insulted, and yet run back to India for money, shameless!

  • Waseem From Pakistan on December 14, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    Good Luck Team Pakistan I wish you people could won this match but i will be happy if you managed to draw it. As we were in way behind when we started our 2nd innings

  • Aurangzeb on December 14, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    I gave up on this match first morning - the series had gone, but since then Pakistan have shown a rare fighting quality and should get the deserved draw. That said, no reason why we should not have won this 3-0!

    None of this bodes well for an slightly weakened Australia series however - they will not let us off so easily.

    What they lack in spinners dept - is made up with the quicks, batting and fielding.

  • Ahmad Malik on December 14, 2009, 12:01 GMT

    It has been great rearguard cricket from the top order, but i dont neccesarily agree with Pakistan playing out for a draw as Faisal Iqbal pointed out in his post. The difference between good teams and great teams is their ability to manufacture results from seemingly hopeless situations. I am not undermining the efforts of the top 5 so far, but the defensive mindset needs to shift a gear tomo morning, there are 96 overs left in this test barring any interruptions, the plan should be to bat another 36 overs and score 140 runs at a shade below 4 an over which is well within reach of the Brothers Bloom ( pronounced Akmal)and the Misbah Ul Haq of Old. That leaves Pakistans best bowling attack of the better part of this decade to exploit a NZ top order that has time and again failed to score 240 runs is 60 overs. Make a game of it......lesser bowlers have achieved a lot more.

  • Noman on December 14, 2009, 12:07 GMT

    This one should rank among the best innings Yousuf has played. Pakistan should continue the cautious approach in tomorrow's first hour and supposing that they loose just one wicket in that hour for, say, 35-odd runs, they could up the ante in the next hour before lunch and may continue for half an hour more after lunch. That will ensure that the target set for NZ is about 225-250. Only problem is that if Pakistan doesn't get all out by the time, will Pakistan be willing to declare with 225-250 runs to defend. That fine line between being brave or stupid may be hard for define for a team that has not won or drawn a series in recent times.

  • Murtaza Khan on December 14, 2009, 12:17 GMT

    I like your note but I think there is more to Pak's first innings debacle than poor batting. There was a clear lack of a plan. All they needed to do was bat out the first session and then it was easy wicket. It seems to be that no one really recognised that and it is indeed quite often the case that Pak does not know how to approach test cricket in terms of a plan. We are always behind the game or even when we win we would be coming from behind. Test cricket requires a clear strategy to be well executed and hence keep the opposing team on the backfoot. Clearly, Pak would be better served with some quality leadership and cricketing brain. The other aspect is contending with pressure. Even with the current batting line up and lack of good technique, if they could execute on well laid out plans, and with the help of some mental toughness, Pak could be at least in the top 4 in the rankings. I praise Umar Akmal and Amir for challenging the paradigm of 'seniority' in the Pak team.