The first test match between Pakistan and Ireland was not labeled as a clash between two titans but yet it was a historic showdown keeping in mind Pakistan’s downfall in 2007 world cup match in West Indies against Ireland that brought some dismal circumstances in the aftermath of the memorable defeat. It was all about to repeat again on the final day of this stand-alone test match against the same Ireland when Pakistanis were stunned at 14 for three while chasing a modest 160 target.
Irish were tantalized first and then anticipant for a dramatic winner when Pakistani top order wickets began to tumble at quick succession. Everything started as jittery and nervy making Pakistani batting lineup collapse seemed imminent.
At that critical moment, a debutant rose to the occasion and stood against the onslaught. He kept his cool, persisted on the wicket and barricaded the early Irish attack. This young dedicated star was none other than Imam-ul-Haq, the nephew of Pakistan’s legendary batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq.
The 22 year old left hander opening batsman, Imam crafted his innings in a real pressure situation. His response was like a seasoned and experienced batsman. His innings was composed of precise shot selection and genuine temperament which is necessary for any test batsman to survive over the pitch in demanding conditions. Imam’s innings of unbeaten 74 along with Babar Azam who scored 59 sharing a stand of 126 eventually led Pakistan to an impressive feat by 5 wickets.
“Definitely we were worried when we were down 14 for three, “Sarfraz told reporters. “But it’s really good that these two young players in our team, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, the way they played, they showed their character, they showed their confidence. “I think the way they played gives great confidence to the team and will help them in the next matches as well, “the wicket keeper skipper added.