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Pakistan's marks out of ten for the series against Sri Lanka
January 23, 2014
Misbah-ul-Haq (364 runs at an average of 91.00)
Misbah-ul-Haq led by example in the batting department. His unbeaten 68 off 72 balls, scored in the final session of the fifth day in Sharjah, led Pakistan to an astonishing victory and helped them square the series 1-1. His scores of 137, 1, 97, 63, 68* reflect his consistency and the innings in Sharjah showed he could step up the run-scoring when needed. As a captain, he was occasionally conservative.
Junaid Khan (14 wickets at 28.71)
Pakistan's bowling spearhead put in another good performance. His five-wicket haul in Abu Dhabi gave the side a significant first-innings advantage. He was economical throughout and finished as the joint leading wicket-taker, along with Rangana Herath, on pitches that were not helpful for the bowlers.
Azhar Ali (111 runs at 55.50)
His match-winning 103 in Pakistan's chase in Sharjah was the best knock of his 32-Test career, making up for the wasted review in the first innings. He was dropped for the first two Tests but bounced back to strengthen a claim for the No. 3 position.
Sarfraz Ahmed (134 runs at 33.50)
A makeshift wicketkeeper-batsman who replaced the injured Adnan Akmal, Sarfraz made the best of a sudden chance. His 48 in the second innings in Sharjah played a vital role in Pakistan's victory and a half-century in Dubai helped the side put up a fight. His glovework, however, was mediocre.
Younis Khan (285 runs at 57.00)
One of Pakistan's most seasoned contenders, Younis often steadied the innings after a top-order collapse. He began with a century in Abu Dhabi and also scored a fifty in Dubai, but was largely unable to cash in on the flatter tracks. His contributions to the win in Sharjah were limited.
Ahmed Shehzad (273 runs at 45.50)
Made his Test debut for Pakistan in the series and showed promise with a hundred in Sharjah. He won the Test cap on the basis of his ODI form but his patience was often worn down by Sri Lanka's bowlers. He still needs to work on his temperament in the longer formats.
Khurram Manzoor (181 runs at 30.16)
He shrugged off poor form in the Abu Dhabi Test with 73 and 52 in the Dubai and Sharjah Tests respectively, but there are questions over his technique. He was unconvincing in the series and, as a result, the slot for the second opener in the Pakistan Test side is still open.
Saeed Ajmal (10 wickets at 42.10)
Played his most disappointing series of the last three years. Ajmal picked up two wickets in Sri Lanka's first innings in Abu Dhabi and then had to wait 77.2 overs to take another one - a new low for the bowler. The match haul of five wickets in Sharjah came at the cost of 173 runs and he finished as Pakistan's most expensive bowler in the series.
Mohammad Talha (6 wickets at 27.33)
He last played a Test for Pakistan in March 2009 at the Gaddafi Stadium and on his return to international cricket after nearly five years, he showed promise. He spent the first two Tests on the bench but replaced Rahat Ali in the third, and found success in spite of an inconsistent length.
Abdur Rehman (5 wickets at 31.40)
With Pakistan opting for Ajmal as their lead spinner, a Test opportunity for Rehman is rare and he made it count this time. Prior to the Sharjah Test, Rehman had last played for Pakistan in September 2013 against Zimbabwe. He took 4 for 56 in Sri Lanka's second innings in Sharjah, which helped restrict the visitors to 214, setting Pakistan a target of 302.
Rahat Ali (2 wickets at 146.50)
Brought into the side in place of the injured Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali toiled away but had little success. He bowled 101.3 overs in two Tests, with a strike rate of 304.5 and was dropped for the final Test.
Mohammad Hafeez (113 runs at 37.66)
Recalled to the Test squad on the basis of his ODI form, Hafeez had a poor series. Was dropped for the third Test after scores of 11, 80*, 21 and 1 in the first two matches.
Asad Shafiq (61 runs at 15.25)
One of the most promising young Pakistan batsmen, Shafiq was disappointing. The series was a chance for him to maintain his place but scores of 13, 6, 23, 18, 1* did not help his cause.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Umar Farooq
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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