KARACHI: As the jubilation of an amazing Test win sinks in for Pakistan, one of the heroes of their 302-run chase – attained at an amazing rate of over five runs per over – Sarfraz Ahmed said he realised what a massive effort Pakistan had made to draw the Test series 1-1 with Sri Lanka.
Required to achieve the target in just two sessions and 59 overs on a deteriorating pitch in Sharjah, Pakistan went on to achieve the unthinkable against all odds.
“As the dust settles on an amazing win, now I realise what Pakistan has achieved by chasing a record 300-run target on the fifth day at an amazing 5.25 runs per over,” Ahmed told The Express Tribune.
“The win is what we were playing for, we were not scared of losing which really made the difference. I believe it’s a victory that will be remembered for many years.”
‘Team management must be credited for my knock’
Ahmed inspired Pakistan with a scintillating 48-run knock off 46 balls, during the knock he was not afraid to come down the wicket and expose the stumps.
According to former Test cricketers Waqar Younis, Rashid Latif, Ramiz Raja and others, it was Ahmed’s bravery which made Pakistan believe that they can pull off a win.
“Whatever little part I played in this memorable achievement, the team management gets the credit for it because I was promoted up the order by the think tank,” he revealed.
“I’m really happy that I was able to repay the faith shown in me by skipper Misbahul Haq, by making quick runs after the tea session.”
The wicketkeeper-batsman was involved in an 89-run fourth-wicket stand with Azhar Ali, who starred with a 103-run knock, while there was another 109-run partnership between Ali and Misbah (68) that ensured the win.
“The way Azhar played was delightful to watch, and I’m really happy that he deservedly got the hundred,” he said. “Misbah once again showed his importance by remaining cool in a tough situation.
“This series has given a major boost to my career and I’ll look forward to doing well in any format if given the opportunity.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2014.