Stories about test match

The Oval: Pakistan’s home away from home

Hollywood, Bollywood, the West End and Broadway – everybody knows that nothing sells better than a true underdog story. And when it comes to the tag of ‘underdog’, only a few have worn it so frequently and with such relish as the Pakistan cricket team. Pakistan with the Champions Trophy. Photo: Getty Images Before the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy final, few could have predicted what would unfold. In a tournament packed with surprises, viewers could be forgiven for wondering whether Pakistan had reached their peak. But doubt Pakistan at your peril. As Sarfraz Ahmed tore across the outfield, arms outstretched in joy, Pakistan wrapped up their ...

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Bidding farewell to the stalwart heroes of Pakistan Test cricket

The upcoming Test series in West Indies will be the last time we get to see Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan sporting the colours of Pakistan, as both these players will bid farewell to Test cricket after the series ends. The series will provide both players an ideal opportunity to conclude their respective careers on a high note. Misbah has great prospects of becoming the first Pakistani captain to win a Test series in West Indies, whereas Younus is at a hand-shaking distance from becoming the first Pakistani player to reach the 10,000-runs mark in Test cricket. I hope to see both players achieve their respective milestones ...

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When tape-ball cricket was the best kind there was

Watching the Pakistani team bat against Australia yesterday morning in the first Test match somehow made me wish every Pakistani batsman could get two chances to bat in each inning. The thought, although impractical, opened the doors to my childhood memories when I used to play tape ball or ‘kirmich’ ball (as we used to call it) cricket quite regularly. This is how we played; if one team was a player short, a batsman from that team was allowed to bat twice. This is so far from the real world of cricket and yet many good hard-ball cricketers give credit for their success to this ...

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Will Pakistan be able to emulate its 1987 Test victory over England?

The year 1987 is knows as the golden year in the history of Pakistan cricket because of the many memorable victories it bagged back then. A monumental series win in Headingley, England, against England itself, was a great comeback after a series loss back in 1982. Imran Khan takes his 300th Test wicket, Jack Richards caught by Ijaz Ahmed for 2.Photo: Getty Photos For the first time, our cricket team was invited to play a full Test series (five matches) in England. After a defeat in the first two Tests, our team was on its way to Headingley, Leeds, ...

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Removing Azhar Ali from the cricket team will result in a long-term loss

An out of favour batsman, who had remained in the shadows for long and was deemed surplus to requirement in the shorter formats, was, out of the blue, asked to lead a side. Not any ordinary side, but a side that was plagued with groups, seniority-‘juniority’ prejudices and a quota system that has seeped into our roots. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gambled on Misbahul Haq when they not only brought him back into the Test side, but to the shock of many, made him captain. The gamble succeeded and Misbah went on to become the most successful captain in ...

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Five game changers of the India versus South Africa Test series

A historic series win and players oozing with confidence marked the interesting battle between two heavyweights, South Africa versus India. The visitors, South Africa, were brilliant in all departments. This was evident through their victory in both the formats. They managed to produce some brilliant moments over the past 25 days and key players from both teams played pivotal roles in providing spectacular performances for their respective teams. During the ODI series decider at Wankhede, the Proteas put up a one-sided show after Indian bowlers literally threw runs their way. It’s India’s second straight bilateral defeat, after losing to Bangladesh ...

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Modi and Nawaz Sharif need to stop undermining cricket for political gains

During the Sri Lankan tour to Pakistan in 2009, the bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore was fired upon by militants, injuring six Sri Lankan players and killing six policemen and two civilians. It was a sad day for Pakistan cricket as no country was willing to send its team to Pakistan after this unfortunate incident.  In a scathing attack on the serious security lapse, the then Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said, “Such incidents could make Pakistan a failed state, and that one was not sure as to who was in control of the country.” We, in India, always ...

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Will Pakistan’s reformed cricket team be able to stand up to the English challenge?

The year 2015 has been a year of mixed emotions for the Pakistan cricket team. Having lost both 50-over fixtures against New Zealand prior to the World Cup, the men in green had a horrendous start to the year as they suffered crushing defeats at the hands of India and the West Indies in their two opening games of ODI cricket’s most coveted tournament. Photo: AFP Pakistan’s World Cup dream seemed all but over at 58-3 against Zimbabwe, when a resolute knock of 73 by Captain Misbahul Haq, along with a spirited half century by Wahab Riaz, ...

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Keep calm, Pakistan: Our cricket team is shaping up quite well

The brief Zimbabwe tour came to an end a couple of days ago, with Pakistan emerging as the victors. It wasn’t a clean cut victory since Pakistan won four out five matches and the one match we lost was under extremely controversial circumstances. Having said that, Pakistan has managed to perform commendably against Zimbabwe this year. This particular tour highlighted five aspects about our cricket team.  Imad Wasim – The most wanted in the team Photo: AFP The first and foremost aspect that needs to be mentioned in this list is the emergence of Imad, more so after the ban ...

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Dear Younus Khan, please take Wasim Akram’s advice and ‘stop worrying about the ODI format’

Dear Younus Khan, I hope this letter finds you well. Let me start by saying that you are, undoubtedly, one of the greatest Test match batsmen Pakistan has ever produced. Your powers of concentration and mental strength are only bettered by Misbahul Haq in the current Test team, while your skills as a stroke-maker coupled with your triathlon-athlete like endurance are a winning combination like no other. In a sense, you remind me of a boxer who lives for the counter punch. You, Younus, sometimes take more punches than a middle-order batsman has any right to handle, before you begin hitting back. It starts with numerous ...

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