Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 2 and Day 3 Review: Marathon Batting Effort From Taufeeq Umar Places Pakistan In A Commanding Position.

Day 2

Score: 259/1 (98 overs)

Looking ahead: Pakistan will be looking to battle through the first 40 minutes of day 3 and then kick on with some steady accumulation and consolidation through the course of the day. Considering the position of strength they have got themselves in a lead of 250-300 should be a minimum they should be targeting and having in mind with the experienced duo to follow.

Player of the day: Taufeeq Umar who batted the whole 90 overs with patience, concentration and top notch judgement against the quicker men as well showing as a neat defence to trap out the spinners. He battled hard and kept at it throughout the day. This was top quality resilience and solid top order batting we witnessed as Pakistan thoroughly dominated the day with only 1 wicket lost in 3 full sessions.

Ball of the day: Only 1 wicket fell, but it’s worth a mention. Herath prevented Hafeez from reaching his 2nd successive test century by trapping him in front just after the lunch break. The slow left arm spinner toiled hard and bowled just over 30 overs in the humidity.

Stats

Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali have been involved in 3 100 and 3 50 stands in 8 innings together.

Azhar Ali averages over 40 overnight on 19/10/11 as does Taufeeq Umar.

Taufeeq scored his 2nd century in the space of 4 test innings.

All 3 batsmen registered half centuries during the day.

Azhar Ali 60 (176) needs 60 more for 1000 test runs and reached his 10th test 50 in 26 innings.

Sessions: 3-0 Pakistan

242 runs were added to the overnight total for the loss of only 1 wicket

Day 3

Pakistan 511/6: lead of 314

Sri Lanka 41/1 (11)

Moment of the day: Gul dimissing the Sri Lankan opener for a golden duck on the very first ball of the Sri Lankan innings and trapping him LBW with a moving delivery. Tony Greig who was on commentary at this moment in time with Waqar Younis called it out straight away from where they were sitting. It looked plumb in real speed. It summarised how Misbah’s side were so on top.

Ball of the day: The Sri Lankan left arm pacer W for short getting rid of Azhar Ali with a beauty to deny him his much awaited maiden test century. It was a peach of an inswinger which rattled the stumps and broke a 2nd wicket left right combo stand of 180. Finally Dilshan and company could see the back of one of them.

Player of the day: Taufeeq Umar once again continued from where he left off from to make a double century. He batted for over 5 sessions in total. The opener who former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail highly rates continued his superb form since resurrecting his international test career against South Africa last November. He covered all the major qualities you look for in a “proper” test opener to add over 100 to his overnight total. It was a pity he couldn’t carry his bat to the end and was run out by a very thin margin.

Looking ahead: Pakistan win=75%/Sri Lanka draw=25%. Pakistan will be looking to get through the big fishes tomorrow and even finish the job off. Sri Lanka will be looking to go into the final day near to Pakistan’s lead with wickets and experience in hand. On a placid track they have the capabilities to avoid defeat in going 1-0 down here. Pakistan are on course for victory, even perhaps by an innings or a brief chase of day 5. I reckon it will be a 10 wicket win.

Sessions: 3-0 Pakistan.

Stats

Taufeeq Umar’s 236 was the highest score by a Pakistan test batsmen since Younis Khan’s triple century at the NSK against the Lankans in the first half of 2009

Azhar Ali scored his 10th half century in 26 innings

Both captains, Misbah and Dilshan were dismissed incorrectly and victims of no DRS

Pakistan have only lost 107 out of a potential 150 wickets in their last 8 tests

Kumar S averages 79 in the 3rd innings against Pakistan

First time since against Sri Lanka in 2009 has Pakistan posted 500 in a test match when cricket was played in Pakistan (24 tests)

2nd time in 3 tests Pakistan have declared the innings

Taufeeq Umar has the 7th highest stats occupation per minutes at the crease prior to this test match in Pakistan’s proud batting history. He gave us an ideal demonstration of why he is in that list here in Abu Dhabi during the first of 6 tests to be played in the UAE this winter. He also has the highest average by a Pakistan test opener since Saeed Anwar. According to many, he was dropped and treated unfairly throughout his career. In the test arena he always had the ingredients required to flourish, although his game was less suited to the shorter formats. The Lahore left handed opener is a gritty and mentally strong occupier of the crease.

Pakistan has won all 9 sessions in this match as far as I’m concerned which the scorecard reflects. The first session on the opening day was a debatable one, but nonetheless Pakistan did control the flow of runs and received a break through before lunch as well as winning the toss and getting to do what they wanted up front.

Further observations: Just a mention that the former New Zealand fast bowler Danny Morrison is also part of the commentary team here which I forgot to mention on day 1. Danny is an individual who comes across as a humorous and enthusiastic follower of the game to say the least.

Quotes

Junaid: "When I went to Lancashire, Wasim used to call me and tell me how to bowl, how to use the conditions," Khan said. "That stint was very helpful. There I learnt how to seam, how to swing the ball, how to bowl a yorker."

Taufeeq: “Partnerships are the key”

Waqar: “Captain and coach trust is very important. The captain and coach should also be good friends.”

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