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

Misbah encouraged by youngsters' show

Sa'adi Thawfeeq in Pallekele

July 12, 2012

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Asad Shafiq and Adnan Akmal added an unbeaten 81, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Pallekele, 5th day, July 12, 2012
Asah Shafiq made a century, while Adnan Akmal batted with a broken finger to eat up valuable time on the fifth morning © AFP
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He bowls his outswingers and inswingers to the batsmen and surprises them with bouncers sometimes. It's good to have this sort of bowler in the side especially on wickets that are not suited for him. He's a big find for us Misbah on Junaid Khan
 

Since taking over as Pakistan captain in mid-2010 when the team was in disarray after the spot-fixing scandal, Misbah-ul-Haq has converted the side into a powerful Test outfit. Pakistan drew or won the next seven series, but Sri Lanka have finally handed Misbah his first Test series defeat as captain.

"A loss is a loss and whenever you have a lost a series, it's not good for the team," Misbah said, after the draw in Pallekele that confirmed a 1-0 series defeat. "We were hoping for a better result after we lost the first game. Everybody tried well, the team fought hard but then you may say that we were not lucky enough to win again. That happens, but I am really happy with the effort that everybody put in."

Despite the defeat, Misbah wasn't too downcast. "The positive is the way the young guys have performed. A plus for us is the way Asad Shafiq batted; Azhar Ali is becoming a real strong lad for us. In difficult situations both these players performed well for us. The way Adnan Akmal played today with a fractured finger is a good sign. Junaid Khan is a big plus. After the first game Hafeez's form became good, he batted well with Taufeeq Umar."

Misbah had a special word of praise for Junaid, who got the ball to move both ways and troubled Sri Lanka's batsmen throughout the series. "It wasn't easy especially on the SSC wicket and on this wicket also after the first day it was almost flat. The way he bowled, his bowling sense, was really good. He bowls his outswingers and inswingers to the batsmen and surprises them with bouncers sometimes. It's good to have this sort of bowler in the side especially on wickets that are not suited for him. He's a big find for us."

Junaid ended with 14 wickets in the series, a contrast to his fast bowling colleagues, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema and Mohammad Sami, who collectively could pick up only two wickets. "We have to look for some others to really help us in the fast bowling department," Misbah said. "Unfortunately it wasn't a good series for other fast bowlers they were a bit unlucky they could not just pick wickets, that's why we could not finish the Test matches. We have to improve our bowling department and our catching. We were not good even in the one-day series and even in the Test series."

When asked whether there would be any backlash back home because Pakistan had lost the series, Misbah said, "You can't control it, there are some guys who are always looking for negatives, but I am really happy the way the team fought back. Winning and losing is part of the game, we were really nowhere in the first game. There is a psychological advantage for our team we played both the last two games with real good control. It's a real positive for me, [though] I don't how the people feel about that."

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Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (July 14, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

PAK needs to learn from Black Caps to improve Fielding

Posted by dmqi on (July 14, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

Well, first test was lost due to poor umpiring and poor batting by pak. 2nd test Pak win was deprived by rain. 3rd test was also affected by rain, it could have gone either way. Misbah's bad luck that is that he did not win the toss in test 3. Not a bad series at all. Mahela just got lucky to win the series.

Posted by   on (July 13, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

I was really happy with the teams performance as Mahela said in the post match presentation "Pakistan are ranked number 5 but with there armory they should be much higher in the ICC rankings" I'm sure with the young guns in our time Pak will continue to rise in the test rankings.

Posted by Desihungama on (July 13, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

Misbah didn't lose the series as Captain Pakistan and Hafeez did.

Posted by   on (July 13, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

A satisfying performance by Pakistan.......they were a bit unlucky in 1st test........and the upper hand in next two games.........

Posted by hani2 on (July 13, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

Pakistan should immediately get rid of all the repeated failures of the past 10 years. Like Sami, Imran farhat and Faisal iqbal. Selectors should also keep check of Mr. Guls preformance. He just seems to have no competition, and is playing every match, despite of performing horribly.

Posted by SamRoy on (July 13, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

Mohammad Sami should never play another test match for Pakistan. His bowling average is similar to Javed Miandad's batting average which means he is a pathetic test bowler with no control. He is similar to India's Ajit Agarkar; ok in ODIs, horrible in tests but the management's darling. Has already played way too many tests than he should have.

Posted by smartguy786 on (July 13, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

Well done azahr ali and asad, they are becoming my fav players ..... the rest of the oldies retire.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (July 13, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

PAK improved in this series in both batting and bowling. They got to do a lot in Fielding. SL has to find 2 good fast bowlers otherwise they cannot compete at the TOP level. I think PAK improved a lot more than that of SL. Tissara and Kula are ODI allrounders not good for TESTS. SL really need over 140 K 2 fast bowlers.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

Although TEAM PAKISTAN lost the test series 1 - 0, I am very pleased with the performance of the youngsters. Azhar Ali played well in the ODIs as well as test matches and now Asad Shafiq is also making significant contribution. Junaid Khan bowled superbly. TEAM PAKISTAN need to introduce more youngsters in the team and in particular players like Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad and Hammad Azam. My test XI would be: 1. Ahmed Shehzad, 2. Hafeez / Taufeeq, 3. Azhar Ali, 4. Umar Akmal, 5. Misbah, 6. Asad Shafiq, 7. Hammad Azam, 8. Adnan Akmal / Sarfraz Ahmed, 9. Wahab Riaz / Umar Gul, 10. Junaid Khan. 11. Saeed Ajmal. It may be time for Yunus Khan to retire and make room for a youngster and future of pakistan cricket.

Posted by bored_iam on (July 12, 2012, 22:40 GMT)

Think its a moral victory for Pakistan. Also, three cheers for Misbah for that sporting declaration.

Posted by Dadu786 on (July 12, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

8 wickets down on scoree 299 and 380/8 Dec. what a ironic performance, well done young guns.

Posted by Tufey_Fatos on (July 12, 2012, 21:40 GMT)

I think The Green Army played well in the last 2 Tests,and especially last day of 3rd test,the way Shafiq played and Akmal,Great to see these young guys fighting till the end,Well Done GUYS ! =)

Posted by ahabib on (July 12, 2012, 20:43 GMT)

Misbah makes a huge difference to this team. He was not in the team that lost that first match. Younis looks increasingly useless. Also, there is no point in bringing back players who have failed repeatedly at the international level-- players like Sami.

Posted by AdilKhans on (July 12, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

many positives for pak from this series, batting of azhar ali, asad shafiq excellent bowing from junaid khan, negatives are batting of younis khan misbah-ul-haq. captaincy of misbah was questionable the way he used ajmal & sami as restrictive bowlers instead of using them as strike bowlers.gul should have been rested for the series as he was not fully fit and out of form instead sohail tanvir have been given a chance. misbah is becoming more defensive on the field and not using his resources wisely.younis khan disappointed me largely coz he was supposed to play a sheet anchor's role and guide the youngster's in the middle order but he failed miserably.

Posted by spiriteddisplay on (July 12, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

There was no proper planning in the series by the Pakistani Captain nor their coach, Sami is a strike bowler he was not used properly in this test match, what surprised me was that howcome Sami was brought in the 36th over to bowl, whereas with his speed he should have been given the new ball with Junaid Khan, simultaneously Umar Gul is not a new ball bowler, he mostly comes in to ball when the ball becomes old b'cos Gul has the capability to bowl reverse swing better with the old ball. Seems Misbah has his likings and dislikings, if that was the case Sami should have not been picked for this test match, hence would say inconclusion that due to lack of poor planning on both part the Captain Misbah and Coach Dave Pakistan lost this series.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (July 12, 2012, 19:39 GMT)

It's ok to lose , and it's ok for Sri lanka to finally win a series, it's part of the game. Weather and umpiring played a big role in this series but still Sri lanka had to win one day and it was today.

I am happy with pakistan effort in all matches and i hope they keep the same spirit under Misbah for two three years. Good job.

Misbah should just Quit ODI and concentrate on test cricket only that will be good plus from this series.

Posted by s.a.91 on (July 12, 2012, 19:31 GMT)

I am not at all disappointed with the team's performance. Even though we lost the series, I see we learned so much more than we learned against England. And to be honest, we were more unlucky than below par as compared to Sri Lanka.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

Certainly a good effort, good going, tough luck Misbah ang guys.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

It may go down as 1-0 loss to Pakistan but the team has generelly performed well, after being under par in the first test. Like Misbah said, Azhar Ali, and Asad Shafiq are turning out to be good middle order batsmen for future. Umar Gul has been unlucky/under par as well. Sami shouldn´t have been there in the first place. Junaid Khan is another talent which Pakistan can count on in the future. Some people may criticise Sri Lanka for their negative approach, but once you know you´re in the lead, its easy enough to settle for the draw. its not good for cricket, but Pakistan may have done the same if we were in that position. Congratulations to the Lankans. Despite the weather and some ordinary umpiring, it was a good, hard fought series. best of luck to both the teams.

Posted by khurramsch on (July 12, 2012, 18:40 GMT)

pak played better cricket and good come back after 1st inings in1st test.&tht was diffrence. Thy were unlucky in 1st match to get very poor umpiring but main reason very poor batting. Cant hide behind bad umpiring. 2nd match was waste coz of rain. And in ths 1 only bad luck in 1 session when para,samara &parera got chances to build lead.poor fielding throughout tour.dont knw when they learn to catch but overal very good fight. Yes sami comebck faliure.they need 1 more wicket taker seamer.gul not performing.azhar,asad,adnan,ajmal,junaid doing great. Overall i would be ok with performance in last 2 tests. Misbah wasnt in 1st so technicaly cant blamd him.

Posted by applethief on (July 12, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

Wouldn't be too hard on Gul, he bowled fantastically in the Galle test, it's just the umpires kept making blunder after blunder. Sami was disappointing throughout though.

Posted by JibranSial on (July 12, 2012, 18:15 GMT)

'Sri Lanka have finally handed Misbah his first Test series defeat as captain'... No it was Hafeez. Misbah captained in the two tests that were drawn.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

To Misbah and the team: well done! You win some and you lose some but as long as the team fights losses are acceptable. And fight the team did.

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Tour Results
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Pallekele - Jul 8-12, 2012
Match drawn
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (SSC) - Jun 30-Jul 4, 2012
Match drawn
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Galle - Jun 22-25, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 209 runs
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Jun 18, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 2 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Jun 16, 2012
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