As Pakistan was 39 for no loss at stumps yesterday and needing just 139 more with all wickets intact, no one would have thought of any adventure in today’s fourth day play but who knows when Pakistan bats last to accomplish a small total without agitating it’s fan.
Again an abysmal performance with the bat deprived Pakistan from leading the series 1-0 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Dubai. Micky Arthur being the world’s most frustrated man today and his facial expressions being the real story-teller of peculiar events, was utterly clueless and perturbed at the same time. He seemed perplexed as how to save the game for Pakistan or expect a divine intervention when Azhar Ali’s “too-defensive-and-too-reserved” innings succumbed to extra caution.
Joyous Kiwis rejoiced the “much unexpected” win, thanks to debutant spinner, Ajaz Patel who took five wickets to pull off a thrilling four run win over a “notoriously unpredictable” Pakistani side.
Watching those dismissals one could easily imagine Pakistan’s volatility in batting that has been habitual from years and never seems to improve by any means. Coaches can’t do anything to teach senior players how to respond to the conditions or how to keep temperament cool during pressure situations. These are wits that batsmen learn and develop over the years through sheer experience and practice. Pakistan couldn’t chase 136 runs against Sri Lanka last year on the same ground with all wickets in hand. The problem persists and batsmen, unfortunately most of times found to be in too hurry to learn from past mistakes. So in return, we get so many terrible results where the whole team collapses while chasing an insignificant total.
Same happened here in Dubai today. Batsmen didn’t apply themselves up to their full potential and were too uncertain at shot selection. Azhar Ali should have been positive in the depth of his innings and finished it off convincingly but he relied upon his instinct to stay excessively calm, thus lapse of concentration overtook him by surprise.