Pakistan v South Africa, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 4th day October 17, 2013

Misbah proud of UAE record

41

The most important thing about thriving in the desert is the ability to adapt to its harshness. Plants store water, animals spend most of the day preserving energy in the shade and the Pakistan cricket team take wickets on tracks where most attacks toil without reward.

Misbah-ul-Haq credited his attack with dealing a decisive blow to South Africa and paving the way to allow Pakistan to break the visitors 15-match unbeaten streak. "The way our bowlers bowled in the first innings on a flat track, they gave us a good sniff by getting South Africa out for under 250," he said. Mohammad Irfan extracted bounce, Junaid Khan found movement and Saeed Ajmal and Zulfiqur Babar troubled South Africa with turn to ensure Pakistan only needed four bowlers to take 20 wickets.

In comparison, South Africa used seven bowlers and needed 45 and a half more overs to bowl Pakistan out in their first innings. On a surface that offered little assistance to either seam or spin, Pakistan relied on guile to do the job. Misbah said that is something learned through experience and time. "With Pakistan, it's a mental game. We always do well here so we have the confidence and the belief that we can do well."

Pakistan have not lost a Test since making the UAE their adopted home in 2010 and have bowled their opposition out in 15 of 18 innings they've taken to the field in. Their spinners are particularly threatening as England, and now South Africa have discovered. Misbah believes defeating another No.1 team in the world would give the team even more confidence.

"Conditions played an important role," he said. "When you are playing at a venue where you've performed well as a team, its a big plus. You really feel comfortable going in search of a win. I always believed this team has the quality to produce this type of cricket. If we can beat the No.1 side in the world, we can do it against any side in the world."

Pakistan's bowling performance was backed up by batsmen who showed more character than they have in the past, particularly the top two. Misbah ensured they shared the credit for the victory. "That really gave us an advantage. The way they started and the way they were attacking, that made a difference," he said. "By scoring at almost four runs an over they gave us that momentum to press on."

Misbah also thought Khurram Manzoor and Shan Masood did the important job of softening up the South African bowlers and making them question their own plans "When you score only 249 on a flat track. different things go through your mind and bowlers try different things. They want to take quick wickets and go for runs."

He did not have much to say about his own hundred, the fourth of his career, and the first in over two years. When nudged, Misbah admitted it was an innings he will cherish. "It is the most precious thing for a batsman to achieve. Such a satisfaction you cant have doing anything [else]. I really enjoyed that. And we won the game so that makes it something special to remember."

If being home has a feeling, that is what Misbah, more than anyone else would have experienced. The supporters cheered his every move and there were plenty of them in the ground. Given that it was played over the Eid holiday, crowds were larger than predicted with thousands in on every day. Despite the heat, humidity and distance of the ground from the city centre, they filled the grandstand and the grass embankments, brought their drums and their flags and cheered on their team.

"That was wonderful, especially to see that after such a long time," Misbah said. "Usually, you only have this support in one-dayers so it was nice to have it in a Test. I can tell you, it really helped the team. It kept the players motivated. I hope people come to the next game as well."

Misbah has promised the Dubai-based fans they will not be in for a draw because Pakistan are not simply. going to try and preserve their lead. "We have just given clear instructions to the groundsman that we want results. We want to exploit our home advantage," Misbah said. "We are not going to think negative because whenever there are negative thoughts in your mind, you don't get results. Whether we win or lose, we want results."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chaudry_Cricket on October 18, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    Misbah is a class act (jumped up and down like a 5 yr old when he made his century) ... We need to make the UAE a fortress and then build our domestic cricket and challenge teams like RSA in RSA, England in England and be able to fight tooth and nail against them ... That will make us the best

  • on October 18, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Misbah proved "Age is nothing but a number to define someone." love the way he carrying Pakistan in these situations. I really appreciate if BCCI keep their politics 'dirty' aside & tour UAE to play Pakistan a full seires. No wonder, if stadiums get full of crowd like we seen in Sharjah in early 2000s

  • zarasochozarasamjho on October 18, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    Yet another excellent article from Firdose; she is a joy to read - and is very much amongst the top analysts. What can you say about Misbah. He may not be as great as Miandad (who performed under any conditions and was a real fighter) but is defintely even more consistent than him; and to think he usually comes in to bat when Pakistan is usually around 60 with 3 wickets down. In this test match he arrived with Pakistan at incredible 7 for 3 and steered Pakistan to victory (7 for 3 could very easily have been 15 for 6 and the tail fully exposed, I shudder to think). Misbah is also easily the best captain Pakistan ever had, even better than Miandad, if you look at win/loss ratio.

  • pravek666 on October 18, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    How about India v Pakistan in Abu Dhabi???

  • on October 18, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    he is just awesome mostly he comes for bat @ 3 or for fo 20 runs so condition forces him to stay on wkt and most people ask him TUK TUK coz o that

  • Cruzan on October 18, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    Good win, but its not world cup anyways....

  • gandabhai on October 18, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Well Done Pakistan for a super victory from an Indian fan. Respect Misbah.

  • on October 18, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    great victory off course but keep it up and win full series!

  • Sachit1979 on October 18, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    I have never seen any other batsman atleast from subcontinent scoring half centuries and more in such a consistent manner. Only thing that goes against Misbah is his age otherwise no reason he can't survive and lead Pakistan in next WC.

  • on October 18, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    misbah is a class act that any team will love to have. Especially in modern era, where teams like Australia, WI, Sri Lanka in future, and to a certain extent India (lots of talent but yet to establish position at int level apart from pujara) where there is a shortage of quality batsman would kill to have a batsman as good as misbah. Pakistan also has a shortage of quality batsman (although shafiq, umar akmal, azar ali are very talented but inexperienced), so I can't understand the intense hatred towards misbah from pakistani fans. My only complaint with misbah is that why does he bat so low down the order. He really should be batting higher up. Australian batsman, even sachin, sehwag and dravid BTW generally always started low and then gradually moved towards top order. The same thing should be done with young batsman.

  • Chaudry_Cricket on October 18, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    Misbah is a class act (jumped up and down like a 5 yr old when he made his century) ... We need to make the UAE a fortress and then build our domestic cricket and challenge teams like RSA in RSA, England in England and be able to fight tooth and nail against them ... That will make us the best

  • on October 18, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Misbah proved "Age is nothing but a number to define someone." love the way he carrying Pakistan in these situations. I really appreciate if BCCI keep their politics 'dirty' aside & tour UAE to play Pakistan a full seires. No wonder, if stadiums get full of crowd like we seen in Sharjah in early 2000s

  • zarasochozarasamjho on October 18, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    Yet another excellent article from Firdose; she is a joy to read - and is very much amongst the top analysts. What can you say about Misbah. He may not be as great as Miandad (who performed under any conditions and was a real fighter) but is defintely even more consistent than him; and to think he usually comes in to bat when Pakistan is usually around 60 with 3 wickets down. In this test match he arrived with Pakistan at incredible 7 for 3 and steered Pakistan to victory (7 for 3 could very easily have been 15 for 6 and the tail fully exposed, I shudder to think). Misbah is also easily the best captain Pakistan ever had, even better than Miandad, if you look at win/loss ratio.

  • pravek666 on October 18, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    How about India v Pakistan in Abu Dhabi???

  • on October 18, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    he is just awesome mostly he comes for bat @ 3 or for fo 20 runs so condition forces him to stay on wkt and most people ask him TUK TUK coz o that

  • Cruzan on October 18, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    Good win, but its not world cup anyways....

  • gandabhai on October 18, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Well Done Pakistan for a super victory from an Indian fan. Respect Misbah.

  • on October 18, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    great victory off course but keep it up and win full series!

  • Sachit1979 on October 18, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    I have never seen any other batsman atleast from subcontinent scoring half centuries and more in such a consistent manner. Only thing that goes against Misbah is his age otherwise no reason he can't survive and lead Pakistan in next WC.

  • on October 18, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    misbah is a class act that any team will love to have. Especially in modern era, where teams like Australia, WI, Sri Lanka in future, and to a certain extent India (lots of talent but yet to establish position at int level apart from pujara) where there is a shortage of quality batsman would kill to have a batsman as good as misbah. Pakistan also has a shortage of quality batsman (although shafiq, umar akmal, azar ali are very talented but inexperienced), so I can't understand the intense hatred towards misbah from pakistani fans. My only complaint with misbah is that why does he bat so low down the order. He really should be batting higher up. Australian batsman, even sachin, sehwag and dravid BTW generally always started low and then gradually moved towards top order. The same thing should be done with young batsman.

  • yasiranwar on October 18, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    it is unfortunate that pakistan is playing home series in uae but at the same time it is blessing in disguise as well because in pakistan we never got wickets that supported pakistani bowlers

  • on October 18, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    It was the spinning track Pakistan needed for quick wickets.Hope Pakistan add more spinners like Abdur Rehman to keep the equation in their hands.whereas South Africa has only 1 spin option left.My prayers with Misbah to score another ton in the second test to whitewash them.#LovePak

  • EngineerKhan on October 18, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    Misbah deserves praise but one should never forget the quality bowling attack he is blessed with. Ajmal is superb (50+ wickets in UAE). Umar Gul and Abdur Rehman have terrific record here as well. Junaid has always excelled on these pitches (for unknown reasons) and now Irfan.

    But Misbah can suddenly disappoint you out of nowhere. I still can never forget his 1st ever test as captain (ironically at same UAE against same opposition) where he refused to play out for result when 108 was required of 14 overs (with 6 wickets in hand). The reason why Misbah is leading team well is his temperament and the youngsters in team. He doesnt have attitude guys like Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Yousuf etc in his team. This is where Inzi was much greater captain the way he handeled Akhtar, Yousuf, Younis etc.

  • Fijicricket on October 18, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    designer pitches has made all proud! without is Pak cannot even beat Zimbabwe ofr struggle against Ireland

  • RodStark on October 17, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    I hope Pakistani fans finally come to realize what a treasure they have in Misbah.

  • CharlesCrasto on October 17, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    AndyZaltzmannsHair: You beat me to it :) Misbah has been taking flak from all quarters. What does he have to do to silence his detractors. If his charges don't have the temperament to last long, why pin the blame on him? Hope his attitude rubs off on the team as well. Goodluck Misbah and team Pakistan.

  • imJoheb on October 17, 2013, 22:26 GMT

    Once these green track bullies travels to sub-continent they are no better than Zimbabwe.

  • Cric_fever_forever on October 17, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    wow what a confidence by the captain wont settle for a draw.. amazing if thats the attitude of the captain then i think we can pull england on southafrica

  • Hassan.khatri on October 17, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    Completely agree with the AndyZaltzmannsHair comment bcoz Misbah took the captaincy in hard period of Pakistan cricket when teams was involved in many controversies. He build the good team.

  • Hassan.khatri on October 17, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Hats off to Misbah. He did the job not only in second inning but also in the 2nd one. Great and Honest leader:)

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on October 17, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Misbah's the hero Pakistan deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A Captain.

  • tahalateef on October 17, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    I wish that there were three tests in this series.

  • keptalittlelow on October 17, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    Hats off to Captain Misbah, the best skipper Pakistan ever had. Hope Azhar is now replaced with Ahmad Shehzad or Umar Akmal.

  • LeftBrain on October 17, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    My undeerstanding is that Amla wont play second test as he has to go back to SA for the birth of his son. If this is the case, and if Pakistan produce a spin track with a little bounce, I think it will be even easier then the 1st test for Pakistan.

  • M.Sarmad on October 17, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    @Albert.D.Thomas . If it's so then it also happen with others teams when they come in asia they get beaten by a team beaten by zimbabwe which means they are not even better then Ireland.

  • Master_uv_Puppetz on October 17, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    A big booooo to our openers for falling like leaves in the second innings :((( I hope we dont see a Hafeez'esque from these two + Azhar.

    I always believe SA new ball bowlers must be handled in an unorthodox manner. For example, the way Trott played Mohammad Asif in 2010 (standing a yard outside the crease). Really negated his seam movements.

    I hope these guys learn from this test and give us a good performance. It would do wonders if Pak could white wash SA . All our prayers with PAK :)))))))))

  • spellbinder76 on October 17, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    Azhar failed twice but he will be retained for the 2nd test. If it was Asad Shafiq or Shan Masoon they would be out of the 2nd test.

  • on October 17, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    well i hope pakistan has given instructions for more spinning track. this 1 was more towards flatter side and full of runs. i dont think SA will fail again.

    and more importantly this 1 has something for fast bowlers even on 4 th day. pakistans 3 wickets in last session is a warning sign. SA have got no spinner in squad aparr from imran. so pak should be looking to take benefit of it. take fast bowling out of equation by making less suitable wickets.

    SA is a top team and will bounce back hard and more importantly their bowlers will perform better

  • Bakht_Jamal on October 17, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Amazing. Misbah is such a cool character and his performance over the last years has been underrated. He deserves a lot more credit than what he gets!! Good on ya mate!

  • ashi31 on October 17, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    A great performance by team Pakistan, which was dampened a little by the three quick wickets in second session.I request all international teams to plzzzzzzzz come to Pakistan. we want to see our team play in our own stadiums not an adopted home land.

  • on October 17, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    I truly believe Misbah is the best caption since Imran Khan. He is surly best batsman since Inzi and Yousif I really hope he gets player of the year award because he deserves it!

  • on October 17, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    great archievement

  • on October 17, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    misbah ul haq been outstanding performance and greatest leader

  • on October 17, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    misbah is backbone of pak team. his leadership quailties are more than incredible

  • Crick_Player on October 17, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Misbah-ul-Haq only needed four bowlers to take all 20 wickets. Plants store water, animals spend most of the day preserving energy in the shade and the Pakistan cricket team take wickets on tracks where most attacks toil without reward.

  • on October 17, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    Once these Asain teams travel outside the continent they are no better than Zimbabwe. As we all found out in Zimbabwe.

  • on October 17, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    If (In Sha Allah) pak 2nd test jeet jata hai to so far it will count as his best achivement England whitewash and Asia cup se bhi important

  • on October 17, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    If misbah and co will implement in the last paragraph of the article then it will be gud for pakistan cricket,, Killer instinct approach always helps the team as Imran Khan did in 92 World Cup!!

  • on October 17, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    I think it would be difficult to win the second test match because Africa will take its revenge although they can draw the match and win the series....

  • BowledYa on October 17, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Bravo! Misbah is the man. Love his attitude, calm, positive demeanor.

  • LeftBrain on October 17, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    This is impressive stat, bowling opposition out 15 out of 18 innings. I wonder what is the record for a ground. Misbah's attitude is a good sign here, as he is talking about being positive and going for a result, hopefully a whitewash in Dubai. Should be an interesting contest with Pakistan having sky high confidence and SA ready to come back strong. I am 100% certain that Imran tahir will replace Peterson in Dubai, and it will be a good contest between him and Pak batsmen.

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  • LeftBrain on October 17, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    This is impressive stat, bowling opposition out 15 out of 18 innings. I wonder what is the record for a ground. Misbah's attitude is a good sign here, as he is talking about being positive and going for a result, hopefully a whitewash in Dubai. Should be an interesting contest with Pakistan having sky high confidence and SA ready to come back strong. I am 100% certain that Imran tahir will replace Peterson in Dubai, and it will be a good contest between him and Pak batsmen.

  • BowledYa on October 17, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Bravo! Misbah is the man. Love his attitude, calm, positive demeanor.

  • on October 17, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    I think it would be difficult to win the second test match because Africa will take its revenge although they can draw the match and win the series....

  • on October 17, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    If misbah and co will implement in the last paragraph of the article then it will be gud for pakistan cricket,, Killer instinct approach always helps the team as Imran Khan did in 92 World Cup!!

  • on October 17, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    If (In Sha Allah) pak 2nd test jeet jata hai to so far it will count as his best achivement England whitewash and Asia cup se bhi important

  • on October 17, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    Once these Asain teams travel outside the continent they are no better than Zimbabwe. As we all found out in Zimbabwe.

  • Crick_Player on October 17, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Misbah-ul-Haq only needed four bowlers to take all 20 wickets. Plants store water, animals spend most of the day preserving energy in the shade and the Pakistan cricket team take wickets on tracks where most attacks toil without reward.

  • on October 17, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    misbah is backbone of pak team. his leadership quailties are more than incredible

  • on October 17, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    misbah ul haq been outstanding performance and greatest leader

  • on October 17, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    great archievement