Shahid Afridi backs Pakistan to comeback strongly after a heart-breaking defeat
Azhar Ali tried his heart out but couldn't take his team over the line.
Updated - Jan 6, 2019 5:57 pm
Test Cricket never ceases to amaze us. There have been talks of the longer format going down the drains due to the rise of the 20-over cricket. The recently concluded match between Pakistan and New Zealand should do the work and dash all these discussions to the ground. Abu Dhabi produced one of the best Test matches in recent times as the Kiwis did the unthinkable.
Defending 175, they bundled Pakistan out for 171 thanks to Ajaz Patel, the debutant, who picked a five-wicket haul and ended with the third-best match figures on debut for New Zealand in the whites.
Batting first, New Zealand could only manage a paltry score of 153 on a track that assisted the spinners. The hosts in their reply took a healthy lead of 74 runs and due to the deteriorating surface, the match looked well out of reach of the tourists. In the second innings, however, they put a better show and put up 249 runs on the board, leaving Sarfraz Ahmed’s men a tricky 176 runs to chase.
Pakistan, however, brought their unpredictability to the fore, as they were daunted with three early wickets, leaving them at 48-3. However, Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq put up a gritty 82-run stand with the former being dismissed at the stroke of lunch. Babar Azam‘s run-out gave the visitors an opening and they didn’t give the opposition enough space to breathe. Eventually, Pakistan succumbed under pressure to lose the game agonisingly by four runs.
Twitter couldn’t suppress its emotions and was fascinated by an enthralling game of cricket. Even the former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi was left very much impressed by such a close game of cricket. He took to Twitter to express his thoughts about the thrilling encounter.
“Great game of cricket. Test match cricket is a fascinating format. Congratulations New Zealand on a remarkable win! Well fought Pakistan, IA the team will bounce back from here. Well done Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah, great bowling!” he tweeted.
Great game of cricket. Test match cricket is a fascinating format. Congratulations New Zealand on a remarkable win! Well fought Pakistan, IA the team will bounce back from here.
Well done hassan ali and Yasir Shah, great bowling!
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) November 19, 2018
New Zealand are 1-0 up in the three-match series now and Pakistan, though they have the home advantage, have a mountain to climb as they will have to make a comeback now after a heart-breaking loss. The second Test will be played in Dubai on 24th November.
~Written by Daiwik Tadikonda