Misbah, Strauss hail Pakistan

2012-01-28 19:29

Abu Dhabi - Rival captains Misbah-ul Haq and Andrew Strauss acknowledged Pakistan's excellent performance which saw them win the second Test against England by 72 runs in a thrilling finish here on Saturday.

Left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman rocked England - chasing a tricky 145-run target - with 6-62 which helped Pakistan bowl out their opponents for a paltry 72 on a weary fourth day Abu Dhabi Stadium pitch.

This was the world's top ranked Test team's lowest total against Pakistan in all Tests, worse than the 130 they made at The Oval in 1954 and again in Lahore in 1987.

The victory gives Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead with the third and final Test in Dubai. They won the first Test by ten wickets in Dubai.

Misbah said Pakistan's win was a huge achievement.

"It's a big win against the top side in the world," said Misbah, who has won eight of the 14 Tests since taking over as skipper in October 2010. "I don't have words to describe this win which was made possible through a team effort."

Misbah said his team has proved it can do well against the world's best teams.

"There was a lot of pre-series talk that it's our first big real test against a top team, so we had a very good opportunity to prove ourselves and the team has done well to prove this," said Misbah, who has not lost a series yet.

Pakistan were able to at least set some sort of target by Azhar Ali (68) and Asad Shafiq (43) who put on an invaluable 88 runs for the fifth wicket before left-armer Monty Panesar finished them off for 214 with 6-62.

Misbah said his team believed they could beat England despite setting them what looked on the face of it a modest run chase.

"I think we had the realisation that we will have to fight whatever the target is and we also knew that the England batsmen were not scoring runs, they were struggling, especially when the ball was turning.

"We had a good hope that we could make a match out of it and in the end the bowlers proved that and bowled well to give us the win," said Misbah, of his bowlers which saw Saeed Ajmal also take 3-22, taking him to the landmark of 100 wickets in 19 Tests.

He became the fastest to 100 wickets for Pakistan, beating Waqar Younis and Mohammad Asif who reached the target in their 20th Test.

Asked will his team look for a clean sweep against England, Misbah said: "We will try to do our best, we are up against the best team so they can come back in the series, but we will do what we can do, play well."

Strauss praised Pakistan's performance.

"Pakistan have thoroughly deserved their victory in the series," said Strauss, whose team was unbeaten in their previous nine series since losing to the West Indies in early 2009.

"We’ve been below where we want to be and we need to come back and bounce back strongly from this."

Strauss lamented England's weakness in the sub-continent.

"As I said at the start of this tour this is the final frontier in a lot of ways, the sub-continent. English sides haven’t done very well out here in the past and we came here and approached things pretty positively.

"I think we felt we had a great chance to win this series. But, I think the fact we got rolled over twice in Dubai and here meant that there was some baggage there going into this final innings," said Strauss.

Strauss admitted low targets are tricky.

"Sometimes those sorts of totals are the hardest to chase because you know that you’re almost there. I suppose it’s easy to get caught between two schools, whether to be patient and wait for scoring opportunities."

Strauss said England did well to be in a winning position on the first three days.

"It’s bitterly disappointing becuase we’d worked so hard over the course of the game to get ourselves into a winning position and you’ve got to give a lot.

"But having done all that hard work you need to go on and complete the job, we just didn’t play well enough, individually and collectively."

Both teams will also play four one-day internationals and three Twenty20 after Tests.


  • chiepner - 2012-01-28 20:11

    Theres a saying in afrikaans - "ek kry so lekker my tone krul". How this game can humble you in such a short space of time. Well done Pakistan and believe me if I say the rest of the cricket playing nations are sitting up and taking notice. We all know how much talent this county harness and we all fear the day it all comes together.

      Boom - 2012-01-28 20:27

      Well said. New leadership under Misbah, a clean slate, and the potential to overwhelm any opponent. One more test and hopefully a cracker of a one day series ahead :D

  • Winsome - 2012-01-29 11:01

    It's always nice to see the England cricket team taken down a peg or 2. Hope our boys can do the same to them when the tour starts!

  • Sean - 2012-01-29 15:27

    Just shows you how pathetic the ICC Ranking system truly is. Before England went out to bat, I said to someone that England,as the "number one" ranked team, would finish this game off before the end of today and with all of their ten second innings wickets still in hand because as arrogant Stuart Broad said in his interview on Skynews the day before that "they can chase anything above 250"-my goodness talk about how pathetic the Rednecks truly are they can't even chase down a pitiful 145 runs to win. But look at what happened! Eighteen months ago India was "ranked number one" on the ICC Test Team table,but have since lost a 0-4 whitewash to both England and Australia. What a joke that is this ICC ranking table is. All you ever hear on Skysports from their one-sided pundits like Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton,David "Bumble" Lloyd and Ian Botham is how good this England team-"better than Pakistan" says Geoffrey Boycott OBE just this morning. Constantly talking themselves up about their number one ranking and having xyz batmen and bowlers in the world's top 10.You a sad,pathetic butch of losers you are,England,still thinking you're the Empire!

      Gunner - 2012-01-30 07:10

      Ranking is just a good indication of the form of a team. If one looks at both India & England they have done very well in home series but poorly in foreign conditions. Englands number one ranking had no real significance in the outcome of this series because historically they have done poorly in subcontinental has just been proven again

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