Pakistan has won the 3rd test match of current cricket series versus England by 4 wickets at the Oval, London.
When Pakistan seems to be surrounded in a recent spate of bad news like Sialkot lynchings, historic floods, a plane crash and rioting cities, today’s cricket victory comes as the much needed respite for a nation looking for any good news.
I also want to make a statement here- and I will take opposing views from our readers on it – the bowlers seem to be winning the matches for Pakistan while batsmen are doing their worst. The last test match that Pakistan won against Australia, Pakistan lost 7 wickets in reaching the target of 180 and today they lost 6 wickets in reaching 148. This has brought lots of nervous moments and high blood pressure to the team’s fans.
Today’s victory brings Salman Butt‘s win percentage as a captain to 50%. Pakistan has now won 2 tests and lost two in 4 matches played under his captaincy. Salman’s batting however, has clearly suffered under the burden of captaincy. As a captain he has managed to score only 134 runs in the last 8 innings (Ave 16.75) while his overall average is 30.62. Today’s 48 runs innings is his highest score as a captain so far. But I’ll also say this. If Salman can keep the team united then he may have done his job right. It probably takes lots of leadership qualities to keep Yousuf, Shoaib (who didn’t play this match) and Akmals in the same team and make them play as a united front. Clearly the previous three captains failed here while Salman has produced 50% win result.
Another good point from the current test match was Wahab Riaz‘s bowling performance (63/5 and 40/1). It now gives Pakistan a depth of choosing from 4 medium pacers in near future: Aamir, Asif, Wahab and Gul (currently injured). Saeed Ajmal‘s bowling performance (32/1 and 71/4) has been consistent to very good. He may now have replaced Danish Kaneria for good.
Azhar Ali‘s 92 not out in the first innings deserves special praise too. My personal view is that new comers in the team seem to play with more ‘jazba’ as compared to seniors – who become relaxed due to their seniority or because of guaranteed place in the team. Zulqarnain Haider‘s performance as a fighting wicket keeper batsman in the 2nd test match (88 runs on debut) is also a point I want to make in support of my statement.
And Now Some Statistics:
The over-all test match record between Pakistan and England now stands as such. Total test matches played between the countries is 70. Pakistan has now won 13 (18.6%) matches and England has won 21 (30%) matches. In the latest ICC test rankings, Pakistan still lingers at a distant number 6 slot, which by the way is one below England.
Overall this was Pakistan’s 106th test match victory in 351 matches which gives an overall win percentage of 30.2%. Pakistas has lost 98 matches and drew 147.
Full score card of the match can be viewed here.
This victory may be small on statistics but lingers large on national psychology and pride. All in all a welcome win from Pakistan’s point of view.