Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Dubai, 4th day January 11, 2014

Can put SL under pressure if we bat out first hour - Sarfraz

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sarfraz Ahmed, whose unbeaten 70 took the second Test into a fifth day, said Pakistan's lower order could put Sri Lanka under pressure if they survived the first hour.

"If we survive that then definitely we will score," he said. "If we survive two hours we will be around 200 ahead. They [Sri Lanka] will also be under pressure, but we are a bit ahead of them. If we score another 100 runs it will give us a good chance to come back into the match."

Sarfraz said the team management's backing allowed him to play his natural game despite his failure in the first innings. Sarfraz, who replaced the injured Adnan Akmal behind the stumps, was playing his first Test in nearly a year. He had scored 89 runs in his first four Tests, with a highest score of 40.

"I was under pressure because I was in and out of the team for quite some time," he said. "It was a good opportunity because I had been scoring runs in domestic cricket. Definitely I was under pressure after getting out cheaply in the first innings, but the team management backed me, I backed myself and that's the reason I played my natural game."

At stumps, Sarfraz had faced 123 balls and struck seven fours. He put on 67 with Bilawal Bhatti for the seventh wicket, after Pakistan captain Misbah was out for a 248-ball 97, with the team only 22 ahead. Sarfraz said his first-class experience helped him play through the period immediately after Misbah's dismissal.

"When I was batting with Misbah he was telling me a lot how to stay and play," Sarfraz said. "When Misbah bhai got out I tried to take the responsibility because I had batted through these types of situations in first-class departmental cricket. I tried to guide Bilawal and establish a good partnership and thankfully we did put up a decent partnership."

The pitch, Sarfraz said, was still good to bat on. "The pitch is playing well," he said. "You've seen Misbah and Younis [Khan] putting up a good fight. I will also try to keep the fight going on tomorrow and stay at the wicket as long as it is possible. If we stay at the wicket more, they will be more under pressure."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2014, 3:45 GMT

    After a very long Pakistan have witnessed a gutsy innings by a wicket-keeper and salute to his positive attitude of getting the lead past 200. That shows he is playing for the team not for personal cause. Good luck Pakistan.

  • Android on January 12, 2014, 3:16 GMT

    If we have a play today, sri lankan seamers will get the ball to swing and Pakistan won't last untill lunch.

  • Asad on January 12, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    Sarfraz should try and keep the strike with him as much as possible cause after saeed ajmal no one can even hold the bat properly.

  • MOHAMMAD WAFIN on January 12, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    sarfraz might just become pakistan's first reliable wicket keeper batsman after moin khan.

  • ESPN on January 12, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    i guess Saffraz is day dreeming. Unless rain comes to play i cant see sri lanka not winning this game any how

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2014, 0:04 GMT

    I for one would be happy if they bat the first hour so Sri Lankan openers doesn't have to face Junaid Khan with the new ball in the morning.

  • Mohammed on January 11, 2014, 22:42 GMT

    Lets see him go on and become the WK batsman we need.

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    A gritty innings by Sarfraz Ahmed. Similar kind of innings was played by Zulqrnain Haider against Eng in 2010 in almost similar conditions when Pak from the jaws of innings defeat gave Eng a target of 117. Then Saeed Ajmal helped him in doing so by scoring a useful 50. Will history repeat itself tomorrow ?

  • Dummy on January 11, 2014, 20:05 GMT

    Yes sir, good luck our prayer all players a mid good wishes with Pakistan and for you. It w old be nice to see you with match saving century. Love pakistan.

  • Android on January 11, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    if they can manage 1 st session then more chances of draw. i dont think Pak can win this as wicket is still ok and if rain stays away, SL will get enough time to chase it.

    for pak best is to bat as much as possible and look to stretch it to 200. difficult but not impossible in cricket. these 2 added 69 vs SA last year in SA. Ajmal had a good paetnership in england in 2010. Rahat can also play a bit. anything can be possible . forecast is rainy so some overs may also be lost.

    anyway good innings by Sarfraz. amd this might be career changing innings by him. i hope he gets his 100 tomorrow and ajaml, rahat can stick with him for a while

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