If this was Galle or Colombo, from 67-4 Pakistan would have folded for 120.
Or maybe 94.
Wait. This was Colombo. But it wasn't the P Sara.
At the SSC, Pakistan recovered from a self-destructing position of 67-4 to post 300-5 at the end of the day.
So what happened then? Why did Pakistan not collapse?
Ijaz Ahmed happened!
Despite being a talented batsman, Ijaz was known to hit a century in the last match of every series after failing in all the matches preceding that.
Every series, whether ODI or test, would have the same pattern for Ijaz. He would fail in every innings and then when the last match would come around and it would be his last chance, he would come out with a knock that would keep him in the team for the next series.
Shoaib Malik, and to some extent Misbah and Kamran Akmal, did an Ijaz Ahmed today.
All 3 were heavily criticized for their performances in the first two tests.
Many even claimed that this was probably the last chance for both Malik and Misbah.
But today they rose to the occasion.
They got Pakistan out of a precarious situation, they grinded their way through the day, they did not look ordinary, the footwork was there, even the new ball was countered, they denied Pakistan another collapse, and they have almost ensured Pakistan a face-saving victory.
So then, what does Pakistan do now?
Do they still leave them out of the test team in the future or do they let them off the hook, like Ijaz Ahmed, and allow them to fail again for a series till the last match comes around?