Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah, 5th day January 20, 2014

Quick chases and Sri Lanka's third-Test woes

Stats highlights from an incredible third Test in Sharjah, where Pakistan pulled off one of their best run-chases to level the series

  • Pakistan's total of 302 is their second-highest fourth-innings score in a Test win, next only to the 315 for 9 they scored against Australia in Karachi in 1994, when they recovered from a first-innings deficit of 81 to win by one wicket. That wasn't such a straightforward win, though: needing 314 to win, Pakistan had slipped to 258 for 9, before Inzamam-ul-Haq combined with Mushtaq Ahmed to add 57 for the last wicket. Inzamam remained unbeaten on 58 in that game; here, Misbah-ul-Haq was not out on 68.

  • Not only did Pakistan have to score more than 300 in their fourth innings, they had only 59 overs to score the runs in. They achieved their target in 57.3, at a run rate of 5.25. That rate is easily Pakistan's best in a fourth innings in which they have scored at least 175; their previous-best was 4.73, when they scored 296 in 62.3 overs against West Indies in Barbados in 2005. However, that was in a losing cause - West Indies won that Test by 276 runs. Their previous-best run rate in a winning cause in the fourth innings - with a 175-run cut-off - was 4.22, when they scored 183 in 43.2 overs against Sri Lanka in Kandy in 2006.

  • This is also the highest run rate by any team for a fourth-innings total of more than 205. With a 200-run cut-off, there are two instances of better scoring rates, both by England: they scored 205 in 35.3 overs (rate 5.77) against South Africa at The Oval in 1994 to win by eight wickets. Like this game, that was also the third and last Test of the series, and England's win helped them draw the series 1-1. Against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 1996, faced with a target of 205 to win, they scored 204 for 6 in 37 (rate 5.51), which meant the Test ended as a draw with scores level.

  • Pakistan's effort rivalled some of the quickest scoring seen in fourth innings of Tests, but Sri Lanka's second-innings effort was one of their slowest. They scored 214 in 101.4 overs, a run rate of 2.10; the last time they batted 80 or more overs and scored at a slower rate was 16 years ago, in December 1997, when they scored 166 in 82 overs against India.

  • Sri Lanka's defeat further established a worrying trend for them - of starting a series strongly, but gradually declining as the series goes along. In their entire Test history, they have a 28-23 win-loss record in the first Test of a series (excluding one-off Tests), a win-loss ratio of 1.21; in the second Test, the record drops to a still acceptable 26-32 (ratio 0.81), but in third Tests, the fall is alarming: in 47 matches, they have won only nine and lost 19, a ratio of 0.47. In their last 11 third Tests, dating back to July 2009, Sri Lanka have lost five and drawn six; the last time they won a third Test was in August 2008 in Colombo, when they beat India by eight wickets to take the series 2-1. Since then they have lost twice to India, and once each against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.

  • Azhar Ali's century was the first by a Pakistan No. 3 batsman since July 2012, when he had scored 136 against Sri Lanka in Pallekele. Since that Test and before this one, Pakistan's No. 3 batsmen had averaged 21.58 in 18 innings, easily the lowest among all teams during this period.

  • Rangana Herath leaked 100 runs in 19 overs, an economy rate of 5.26 per over; it's the fifth highest by a bowler who has conceded 100 or more runs in the fourth innings of a Test. The worst is Robin Peterson's 127 runs in 20 overs against Australia in Perth in 2012, but that didn't hurt South Africa much because they won the Test by 309 runs, and Peterson also took three wickets, including those of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke. The second-worst is Ian Botham's 117 in 20.1 overs at Lord's in 1984, when Gordon Greenidge destroyed England with an unbeaten 214 as West Indies chased down 342 in 66.1 overs. Herath's effort is only the fifth instance of a Sri Lankan bowler conceding 100 or more in the fourth innings, and easily the most expensive of the five. There are only five instances of Sri Lankan bowlers having poorer economy rates when conceding 100 or more in any innings.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    @SlogSw33p. By delaying just imagine if Pakistan could not have made those 302 runs with 10 balls remaining. After that it would have been out of the hands of umpires to give extra time to Pakistan as due to delay light was gone. It was pretty much darker but if there would have been bright light than umpires can allot extra time to get result. 2ndly in test cricket when you have to prevent runs scoring than you have to bowl outside the leg stump and follow batsman's legs especially when you have a strong opposition batting lineup and do not have any genuine pacer on your side who can rattle the opposition. It is a very negative approach but still acceptable not been used widely now a days in international matches but still in domestic first class matches you can see such things. And yes I watched the match it was a very memorable match that will have impact not only on Pakistan cricket but overall test cricket around the world.

  • Fasahat on January 21, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    @Shakir Zami How is delaying the match perfectly acceptable when the umpires were giving warnings to Mathews that if he does it again, he will be penalized 5 runs. Did you even watch the match or are you just saying random stuff? And how is bowling at the legs bad luck? It's their fault for not bowling properly. Don't make excuses...

  • Syed on January 21, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    This is unbelievable! When I saw the scoreboard next morning (in Canada), it was simply mind boggling. I had to rub my eyes few times before I could believe them.Pakistan, So unpredictable yet so Good!!!

  • system on January 21, 2014, 1:05 GMT

    Please don't spit on me but I think its time for Misbah to call it quits. If we are to continue seeing mediocre results like this one against a low ranked team then its better to experiment with someone else. Then at least we can give them chances to improve and compete. Things as of now will only create a big vacuum after Misbah's departure.

  • alex on January 20, 2014, 22:52 GMT

    where are all the SL supporters??? ha ha ha

  • Android on January 20, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    End of a great series between two of the greatest teams in the world PCB and SLCB should play each other more to find new young talent for stronger team for future and T20 world cup

  • Quamar on January 20, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    Nice stats article- all echoing the fact that 300+ in two sessions in the fourth innings on day 5 is unparalleled! Well done Misbah and the team. Use this to rise to the greatness you deserve...

  • Pardeep on January 20, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    Misbah the tactician! He is the man, the myth, the legend.

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    Is it real ? cant believe....there is no word to express the feeling. A moment to cherish for the long long time to come

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    One of the reasons Pakistan won the third test was that they finally played their best 11. New comers Azhar and Talha proved they belonged.

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