Missed opportunities disturb Pakistan’s In any sport missed opportunities matter much in success or in the failure of a team or an individual. And those who grab the chances with both hands come out trumps in the end.
Friday, unlike the first day when Pakistan dominated through their captain Misbah-ul-Haq’s memorable century and Asad Shafiq’s brilliant strokeplay, was pretty much the opposite.
Aiming to score nearly 400 after resuming at 282 for 6, Pakistan let the opportunity slip to lose their remaining four wickets for only 57 runs.
It was certainly not what Misbah wanted as wickets fell at regular intervals and Chris Woakes had his name imprinted on the Lord’s honours list, having picked up six Pakistan wickets.
I would have thought that at least Sarfraz Ahmed, once in his grooves, may light up the surrounding with his batting but it was not to be. Sarfraz should have shown a lot more maturity to extend the innings and score a few more runs for his team.
When you slip up repeatedly, things get nastier and uncontrollable. A batting collapse in the morning was not the only missed chance of the day by the tourists, there were also dropped catches when England batted.
England captain Alistair Cook is one of the best batsman around and a dangerous customer. But Pakistan fielders let him flourish by twice dropping him. Yund Mohammad Amir suffered the most as both Mohammad Hafeez in the slips keeper Sarfraz spilled easy chances.
Amir, though a disappointed man, had the last laugh when he got one for Cook to edge on his stumps when he looked well in control with 81.
Earlier in the day, when Amir stepped on Lord’s turf to bat, walked through the long room without any hostility shown from the MCC members or from the crowd itself.
The crowd, instead of the expected boos and heckling, cheered as he took guard and picked up a four off the first ball he faced.
Wily Yasir lated bowled Pakistan back into the game with his ever tempting flight and spin. That, no doubt, augurs well for Pakistan.
However, it is Misbah’s golden hundred in the match which will no doubt remain in everyone’s memory for some time to come because this is his first ever appearance at Lord’s and definitely his last.
The Test, no doubt, is turning into an interesting game and a well contested one too. The wicket so far looks good, slow in pace with the ball coming late on the bat.
Yasir to me looks threatening and useful and could turn out to be handy in the fourth innings if Pakistan restricts England in the first innings and then bat well in the second innings.