Srinagar: Former Pakistan star batsman and current batting coach Mohammad Yousuf has termed Pakistan’s successful run chase of big target in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle as huge achievement
Abdullah Shafique hit an unbeaten 160 as Pakistan chased down a record target of 342 at Galle to win a tense opening Test by four wickets.
Shafique hit the winning runs in the final session of play on day five to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
“For any batting coach, it will be a moment of pride, the way our batters chased down the total and the way they took the game forward,” said Yousuf in a video posted by the PCB.
“It was a turning track and the way Jayasuriya was bowling and other spinners. Chasing down a big total is a great achievement and on this ground, such total hasn’t been chased down”.
“The way Babar batted in the first innings, it was exceptional, you rarely see such class innings. In the second innings, he batted very well. It was a pressure situation, he played with positive intent, attack and defence was spot on and which brought the other team under pressure. And it was needed for Abdullah Shafique,” Yousuf said.
“Last day, Rizwan batted sensibly. He scored 40 runs but sometimes that little innings has a huge impact. He took the game forward, didn’t play a lot of dot balls. The way he scored 2-3 boundaries off the offie on a turning wicket, that gave the other players a lot of confidence.”
Lauding Shafique , Mohammad Yousuf said, “He [Abdullah] is only 22, first day when he came back after a bat. then early morning, I asked him that how was he feeling and what should be done. He told me that his body was alright, although he might be tired but he was playing for his country”.
“He didn’t show me or anyone that he was tired. He told me that he wanted to finish the match. At a young age, playing such a mature innings, even I haven’t played like that at a young age”.
“I think the way ball was turning, it was spinning back in off the left-arm spinner. That creates a lot of doubts in the minds of the batters. On this wicket, scoring runs is a huge achievement. I think the way our tailenders supported, it was great. Even Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali, the way they batted in the first innings, it gave us a lot of support”.
“As a batsman, I can say and in our playing days, our seniors used to tell us to play for the one that comes back in and the one going away will pass the outside edge just like reverse swing. But it is easier said than done. Hats off to the side, everyone did their role perfectly.”
The second Test starts Sunday, also in Galle, after it was moved from Colombo due to the political unrest in Sri Lanka.