Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Doing an Ijaz Ahmed

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?

Make your pitch on this post...

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11 Pitched:

  1. Unknown said...

    You know, I was wondering the same thing during the match. But I figured, what the heck why should fans worry their pretty (?) little heads about who should be on/off the team? Final decision rests with the board, and it's not like us commoners have any say in the matter. Let's just enjoy the good streak while it lasts! Yeah?

  2. LiB said...


    that is exactly what was on my mind the entire day today, i was thinking how much id like to see them score some runs on consistant basis, hell even in 3 out of the 6 innings would have done it for me...but now the doubters and haters would say they played selfishly...

    Husha has a good point, we should just enjoy it..

    btw do you remember Ijaz Ahmed's knock of 138 of some 80 odd balls against India at Qaddafi stadium, he made afridi look pedestrian.. those werent slogs!

  3. Anonymous said...

    I <3 Shoaib Malik

  4. straight point said...

    they will repeat the cycle...players as well as selectors...

  5. Q said...


    Sure.. I am enjoying it :-)

  6. Q said...


    I completely remember that innings. I even have it on video.. he totally destroyed the Indians and ur right abt wat he did to Afridi.. one of his most awesome knocks.. 10 sixes it had if I remember correctly..

  7. Q said...


    Do u have reasons for loving him?

  8. Q said...


    Lets wait and watch...

  9. tabi Inc. said...

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  10. The_Chaudrey said...

    I think you are being extremely harsh Although I wholeheartedly agree with your point about the current players, I think you are being extremely harsh on Ijaz Ahmed. I looked at his test record and there was nothing to suggest that he would only score his runs in dead rubbers. In fact, looking at his record I was quite impressed at how he handled playing against both Australia and England (playing away from home).

    For that reason alone, I feel it is unfair to compare him to our underperforming middle order who would have little or no chance of handling these conditions with any credibility.

  11. Q said...

    Chaudrey sahab,

    Welcome to Well Pitched.

    You might be right about Ijaz Ahmed but when writing this I didn't take a look at his stats.. for some reason whenever I think of Ijaz I think of his tons in dead rubber games.. I might be wrong.. there might be only 2-3 such innings but I think there were many series in which he failed before producing a good innings in the final game..

    That in no way is to take away from him some of his match winnings knocks.. esp those test match hundreds against Australia in Australia..

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