Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Trip Down Memory Lane Reminiscing Pakistan's unlikely Test Victories

This morning, with Australia at 91-7, a friend on Whatsapp commented that this has got to be the mother of all comebacks after Pakistan were 57-5 on the first morning of the test.

That discussion led to more examples of Pakistan coming from behind to win a test.

Here are five of Pakistan's great test wins that came after they had their backs against the wall.

On a green top, a typical surface in New Zealand, Pakistan were put in by the Kiwis and in no time were reduced to 12-3. A customary captain's innings of 92 from Javed Miandad saved Pakistan from complete disaster as they managed a somewhat respectable 216 in the first innings.

Mark Greatbatch played a magnificent knock of 133, but Wasim, Waqar, and Mushtaq ensured that New Zealand do not bat Pakistan out of the game. The rest of the Kiwi batsmen could not do much and New Zealand took a modest 48 run lead.

Pakistan's woes against seam and swing continued in the second innings as they were bundled out for 174 with the only saving grace being Inzamam's 75.

Set a target of 127, it should have been a walk in the park for New Zealand.

But Pakistan's deadly Ws duo had other things in mind.

Wasim Akram bowled unchanged for 22 overs and dismissed half the New Zealand side, with Waqar Younis running through the other half, leaving the Kiwis in tatters.

The greatest pacers to play for Pakistan destroyed New Zealand giving Pakistan an unlikely 33 run win.

Having just drawn the test series 1-1 with India, Pakistan took on India again in Kolkata in the first match of the Asian Test Championship.

After winning the toss and batting first, within 45 minutes of the game, Srinath and Prasad had Pakistan reeling at 26-6.

The entire batting line up, barring Saleem Malik (32), had succumbed to the seam and swing of India's opening bowlers. Moin Khan played a valuable knock of 70 and with support from Malik and Wasim Akram (38), managed to give Pakistan a total of 185.

India could not capitalize on this as they also folded for 223 in the first innings as Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar shared 7 wickets, including Shoaib's two scalps of successive yorkers to Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.

Pakistan's second innings was a one man masterclass from Saeed Anwar as he carried his bat with a magnificent career best 188 off 259 deliveries, which was laced with 23 boundaries and a six. He found some support from Mohammad Yousuf (56) with the rest of the Pakistan batting not doing much.

Javagal Srinath, Pakistan's first innings tormentor, took 8 wickets in the second innings, giving him career best match figures of 13-132.

Thanks to Saeed Anwar, Pakistan managed to post 316, giving India a target of 279 to win. In response, India managed only 232, and Pakistan won by 46 runs.

No one expected Pakistan to win after they were 26-6 inside 9 overs on the first morning of the test.

This test match started in similar fashion to the one in Kolkata. After winning the toss, Indian put Pakistan into bat on a breezy Karachi morning on a damp wicket.

At the end of the first over, Pakistan were 0-3 having lost Salman Butt, Younis Khan, and Mohammad Yousuf to an Irfan Pathan hatrick!

By the 10th over, Pakistan were reeling at 39-6.

Kamran Akmal then played the innings of his life as he smashed 18 boundaries in a classy 113 where he shared a 115 run 7th wicket partnership with Abdul Razzak (45) and a 82 run 8th wicket partnership with Shoaib Akhtar (45) to take Pakistan to a respectable 245.

Pakistan wrested the initiative away from India once again as Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, and Abdul Razzaq combined to bowl India out for 238.

In the 2nd innings, Pakistan just smashed their way to 599-7 declared. Faisal Iqbal hit 139 and every other batsman that batted got 50+, including a couple of 90s from Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq.

India managed only 265 in their improbable chase of 607, giving Pakistan their largest win ever by 341 runs (which was later broken in 2014 when Pakistan beat Australia by 356 runs).

Who would have thought that Pakistan will manage a record breaking win after they were 0-3 on the first morning!

This was the second test of the series against England and Pakistan were behind in the entire game except for the final 30 overs of the match.

On day 1, Pakistan collapsed from 203-4 to 257 all out as Broad, Anderson, and Panesar proved too much for Pakistan's lower order. In response England posted 327 taking a 70 run first innings lead.

In the second innings, Pakistan again could not handle Monty Panesar as he picked up 6 wickets to bowl Pakistan out for 214.

Needing only 145 runs to win, England began their chase cautiously putting on 20 runs in 14 overs. They lost Alastair Cook to Hafeez off the final delivery of the 15th over to make it 21-1.

Then the carnage began.

From there it went to 26-2, 37-4, 68-7, and then 72 ALL OUT !

Abdur Rehman's 6-25 and Saeed Ajmal's 3-22 gave Pakistan one of their most improbable wins ever.

No one gave Pakistan a chance to defend 145, but they did and how. It was a great escape and a wonderful win! 

DUBAI 2012
After winning the series following the great escape in Abu Dhabi, Pakistan should have been confident going into bat after winning the toss in the third test against England.

However, within 45 minutes of the morning, Pakistan found themselves at 21-5, with Broad and Anderson ripping through the batting. Panesar further added to their woes and Pakistan were bowled out for 99.

England should have run away with the match but their Abu Dhabi tormentors, Rehman (5-40) and Ajmal (3-59), combined again to restrict England's lead to only 42 runs.

In the second innings, Azhar Ali (157) and Younis Khan (127) combined in a 200 run partnership to give Pakistan a 300 plus run lead.

Pakistan set England a target of 324, which at the end proved too much for them.

No one thought Pakistan will end up winning the test by 71 runs after they were bowled out for 99 in the first innings.

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