Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 2nd day October 19, 2011

Partnerships were key - Taufeeq

ESPNcricinfo staff

Taufeeq Umar was satisfied with his marathon effort in Abu Dhabi, where he ground Sri Lanka patiently through the second day to complete his sixth Test hundred. Taufeeq's effort, aided by half-centuries from Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali, put Pakistan in an impregnable position with three days to play.

"I am happy that I fulfilled team requirements, which were to stay at the pitch and put up a good total," Taufeeq said of his effort. "We had to spend time at the wicket and the key was the partnerships that you need in Tests. [Mohammad] Hafeez and me, first with a 100-plus partnership, and then another with Azhar [Ali]; We are in the driving seat right now through that. We will keep going like this tomorrow as well."

After starting the second day on eight, Taufeeq blunted the Sri Lanka attack to add a further 101 runs by the close of play. In all, he faced 296 balls and struck only eight fours, but left Pakistan ahead by 62 runs with nine wickets remaining. It was Taufeeq's sixth ton in 33 Tests, and the second since his return to the side in 2010 after a four-year hiatus.

"I am more focussed now with the help of coaches Waqar Younis and Mohsin Khan, and captain Misbah-ul Haq," Taufeeq said. "I have performed well and can hopefully carry on the good work. It is satisfying to be one of the best. I want to perform in every match and try to convert 50s to 100s, and I've been successful with that as well."

Barring a miraculous turnaround on the third day, Sri Lanka are facing a difficult task in the second innings. Their threadbare bowling unit could not generate too many chances, and when they did, the fielders let them down. Mahela Jayawardene dropped Azhar when he was on seven, and the batsman went on to reach 60 by stumps. The only other time Sri Lanka came close to getting a wicket was when Taufeeq edged Chanaka Welegedara behind, but umpire Tony Hill failed to spot the nick.

"We have to bat ourselves out of this disappointing situation," Marvan Atapattu, the Sri Lanka batting coach, said. "We missed a good chance in the first innings and had luck been with us we would have got more than one wicket [today]."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sunny on October 20, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    Havnt watchd this match live so cant comment on the scoring rate.but have been following it at irregular intervals and must say SL has been sent on a leather hunt here......Wont say anything abt Pakistan batting.My guess is that it is a flat batting track and that makes pakistans bowling performance all the more impressive.Well done to pakistan and hope this sort of batting collapse is a one off for SL......from across the border

  • Mohammed on October 20, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Congratulation to Pakistan Team, they are on the driving seat right now. But please note the scoring rate will affect the time spend on the pitch. If they score more runs with high rate then Pakistan will have a good opportunity to bundle out Sri Lanka & chase the target if required with sufficient time.

    If you compare other Test Batsmen, Like Ponting,Clarke,Amla,De Villiers,Gambhir......etc............ their strike rates are at least 60+ in every matches.

    Pakistan should raise their rate on 3rd Day.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Bhagya on October 20, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    @Shah-Ji:: Thanks buddy.Appreciated by a Sri Lankan.I will never lose hope against my team.Thanks mate...

  • Afzaal on October 20, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    I am a Pakistani fan and I dont see a reason why we should defend the scoring rate, yes it was slow, but both the batsmen on the crease are known to do so, run rate could have been a bit better but don't forget that the more time they spend in the middle the more time whole of sri lankan team will spend in the heat and it will effect their energy level and thus when there time comes to bat they might not be in a very good shape

  • Yousuf on October 19, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    Dear Lankavigi Please note SL is one of the best cricket team in the World. I am a Pak fan n SL is always my 2nd favourite. Have You ever seen West indies Fans , They never lost their faith in their team. Nor did I ever lost hope with PAK ,. True fans supports support the team in bad time too. Infact a team consists of Player/ Management + Fans.

    Do You Know Pak and SL (beside orig memb ENG/AUS) are the only teams ,who started winning not only at home but on tours as well as soon as they got test status. WI,India,NZ and BD had to wait Many years even decades to get first test win outside their country or region.

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2011, 22:17 GMT

    @hoodbu Dravid has release shots to complement his technique and he is NOT slow against spinners. Pak batsmen barring Younis to an extent are not technically efficient, their flair is their strength. Dravid is not slow on flat pitches, Pakistani batters strike rate of 36 is terrible on flat pitch and weak bowling. Hafeez innings was more impressive.

  • Nazim on October 19, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    This was a wonderful day of cricket where pakistan only lost one wicket. Those complaining about run rate should just watch t20 cricket and not test cricket. The gameplan is to bat once and bat well. If they were to start batting aggresively, they would surely have had a batting collapse. The platform has been set to bat out tomorrow, build a big lead and try and bowl the sri lankans out as quick as possible and if need be, score the runs required to win in the 2nd innings. This game is pakistans to lose from such a commanding position. And hopefuly Azhar Ali can score his much deserved maiden century tomorrow, maybe a double century. Who Knows

  • vigi on October 19, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    I've given up with this team. I was a huge supporter of SL, but have lost hope now. I have followed slcricket for many years and never have they performed like this. A batting line-up considered to be great, but actually not. Sangakarra and co shoul learn from the pakistani youngsters, who batted really well and have lead Pakistan to a formidable position. The only result that is evident is a Pakistan win. With this kind of a bowling line-up, that fails to convince anyone, and a"socalled" experienced batting line-up, that regularly collapse, SL are no more a formiddable team. Their new league of competitors are WI, BAN and ZIM. I'm even considering to change my profile name to something else.

  • Umair on October 19, 2011, 20:01 GMT

    Why is it okay for Dravid to score slowly, but not anyone else?

  • Jonathan on October 19, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    A Ton with a negative approach is not helpful especially when the next four batsmen are slow or super-slow paced.

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