November 13, 2014
Misbah will be happy to wrap up the 1st test in Abu Dhabi on the fifth morning with a convincing win over New Zealand by 248 runs.
After winning the toss and setting a first innings score of 566 for 3, Pakistan were well and truly in the driving seat. Once again the top order piled up the runs and left the batting coach Grant Flower with a huge smile on his face. He is doing an incredible job with these young guys and its showing how deadly they can be.
New Zealand never really got out of the blocks here and struggled to even get a foothold in the game. Tommy Latham made something off the flat wicket with a 103 to his name but the reply from New Zealand (262) overall was pretty timid.
The man who did all the damage here was Rahat Ali with 4-22 off his 17 overs. He went on to secure the man of the match and these figures were just proof of the pudding.
Misbah was always going have another bat although he could have enforced the follow on. Why change a winning formula? This is the 5th consecutive time Pakistan has declared an innings (record being 6).
This decision brought about the fourth Pakistani century of the match, this time in the form of Mohammed Hafeez who put together a well-constructed knock of 101. Once he reached his hundred the captain had seen enough and was confident he had enough too when he declared again on 175-2.
New Zealand had been put to the sword for most of the test match finally fell on it during the morning session on the fifth day. With yet another impressive bowling display the Pakistan bowlers shared the spoils. Best figures were picked up by Yasir Shah with a richly deserved 3-74. There wasn’t anything to write home about regarding the Kiwis batting except for Ish Sodhi who got a spirited 63 before being the last man out.
A test it was for New Zealand who only have 4 days to turn the ship around. Brendan McCullum had some plans he’s disclosed in the press match talks saying “He plans to see what Pakistan do when asked to bowl first”. He better start calling correctly and even if he does, he better be on his game the way Pakistan are playing.
While he worries about this, I don’t think Misbah will be losing any sleep with his name going down in Pakistani history for being their most successful captain.
Although he might have to bring in a fifth bowling option with Mohammed Hafeez being called for suspected illegal action. This will require testing before it’s allowed to continue bowling.