Don’t lose hope yet, Latif tells Pakistan

Former captain urges the men in green to focus on deciding Test.

Nabeel Hashmi June 30, 2015
"The likes of Younus Khan and Misbah failed to click; if they had, Pakistan would have added 100 more runs to their target," Former captain Rashid Latif. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Former captain Rashid Latif has advised Pakistan against losing heart after conceding their second Test against Sri Lanka by seven wickets, urging them to go for the win in the series decider which stars on Friday.

Misbahul Haq’s charges seemed more dependent on the impending rain instead of their own capabilities on the fifth day, but the showers never came.

The day’s play was delayed by wet outfield and overnight rain. However, Sri Lanka came out on top in their race against rain by reaching the 153-run target in just 26.3 overs for a loss of three wickets.

“All isn’t lost for Pakistan, so they must not panic. Instead, they should focus on the third Test as there is still a chance to win the series,” Latif told The Express Tribune. “Sri Lanka played attacking cricket and credit must be given to them as they took chances. Both teams have the opportunity to win the series 2-1, so you can’t ask for a better setting than this as nothing will be spared to settle the final score.”

Latif went on to explain that Pakistan almost made up for the first-innings 138-all-out horror by playing better in the second-innings. “The likes of Younus Khan and Misbah failed to click; if they had, Pakistan would have added 100 more runs to their target.”

In Latif’s view, the loss of Wahab Riaz on the bowling-friendly pitch was a big blow as his pace and bounce was feared by the opposition. With only Yasir performing among the spinners, the former wicketkeeper urged Zulfiqar Babar to come up to scratch.

He also lauded Azhar Ali and Yasir for putting in splendid performances when the chips were down.

Meanwhile, another ex-cricket Jalaluddin stated that Pakistan failed as a batting unit in the face of a bowling-friendly pitch. “The first-innings was the real challenge for us and unfortunately we failed to perform where it mattered the most,” said Jalal. “It was next to impossible to recover from there as you can’t really do much after getting all out for 138. The team did better in the second-innings, but the damage was already done.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th,  2015.

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