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

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

S Rajesh

January 20, 2014

Comments: 15 | Text size: A | A

Rangana Herath continued his excellent run in Galle, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 1st Test, Galle, 3rd day, November 19, 2012
Rangana Herath's economy rate of 5.26 is one of the worst among bowlers who have conceded 100 or more runs in the fourth innings of a Test © Associated Press
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  • 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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   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.

Posted by SlogSw33p 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...

Posted by Simba007 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!!!

Posted by starsgap1986 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.

Posted by one-down on (January 20, 2014, 22:52 GMT)

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

Posted by android_user 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

Posted by Pindia 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...

Posted by TrueIndian4ever on (January 20, 2014, 18:42 GMT)

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

Posted by   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

Posted by   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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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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