Pakistan 1-1 Pakistan’s Batting Collapses

Oct 27, 2013 by     No Comments    Posted under: Sports Buzz, Spotlight

South Africa wrapped up Pakistan with ease in the second test despite Asad Shafiq’s and Misbah-ul-Haq’s stubborn resistance, and won the match by a mammoth margin of an innings and 92 runs. They also squared a short 2 match series 1-1, leaving Misbah and Smith to share the trophy, which Pakistan almost had in their grasp, when they had beaten the No.1 Test side so comprehensively in the first match of the series. Fans of both teams will lament the absence of an extra test, as the way the two teams have played this series, has shown that a result would have been inevitable, and thus, the series would have had a winner, which is always better than a drawn contest.

The series itself was all about Pakistan. I’m not taking anything away from South Africa. They were clinical in the second test, where they batted, bowled and fielded incredibly well to sweep Pakistan aside professionally and maintain their record of not losing an away series for more than 10 years. But what decided the tests in both cases, was Pakistan’s capricious batting lineup, whose performing charts go up and down at a frequency higher than that of a tuning fork (forgive the scientific references of an engineer).

In the first test, the mostly reliable Pakistani bowling attack did well to restrict the South Africans to 249, but it would have been nothing had our batting line not given the performance of the year to take a lead of almost 200 runs over the Proteas. The new opening pair of Manzoor and Masood batted brilliantly to provide an opening stand of a 135 runs before the Kaptaan scored his first century in 85 International innings. Asad Shafiq and Adnan Akmal also contributed to give Pakistan a significant first innings advantage over the clueless tourists. It was, undisputedly, Pakistan’s most comprehensive batting performance for quite some time as everyone contributed to the cause, and South Africa never recovered from it. They lost the match.

Expectations were ripe for the second test, therefore, with fans starting to believe that the team had finally rid themselves of its batting demons, and hence, had a great chance of white washing the World’s best Test side. Pakistan won the toss, and decided to bat first, planning to exploit the spinning track in the fourth innings, when it would be even more roughened up. The fourth innings never came. The same batting lineup that had won the first Test for Pakistan, effectively lost the second one for her in the first session of the match.

The openers went early, followed by the woeful Azhar. Younis wasted a start, and Misbah could not pull off his usual heroics. The mediocre Adnan departed due fully and Asad, who looked like Pakistan’s only hope as he resisted with the tail for some time, lost his wicket to a moment of madness, trying to slog Tahir out of the grounds. The Proteas wrapped up the tail, and Pakistan were all out for 99, a full 337 runs less than their endeavors in the first innings of the previous match. South Africa capitalized, scoring a gargantuan 517, and a deflated Pakistan resisted for five sessions before Misbah’s totally uncharacteristic dismissal gave South Africa the opening they were looking for. The tail failed to wag and Asad’s century was in vain as the green shirts were all out for a 326 runs.

One can only wonder if the ending would have been different had Misbah not had his mental orgasm in the second innings, but the real question is when will Pakistan’s batting stop losing her matches. Just when it seems that the team has started to get its stuff together, and its batting demons are starting to go away, Pakistan throw up another classic batting collapse; another miserable session of batting, which all but loses the match for them and undoes all the hard work, which has been done prior to that session. For now, Pakistan will start to rebuild, but only until the next batting breakdown. Everyone’s just waiting for it to happen.

The Author

Ali Qamber is an engineering student at PNEC, NUST. He is a certified maila from St. Patricks High and lives, loves and wastes his time in Karachi. Besides writing useless stuff such as above, he also enjoys the finer things in a Karachiite's life, like night-cricket, hangouts at the beach and strikes. Find him on twitter (@qamberger) or facebook (saliqamber).

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