Records were broken and history was made as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka 2-1 in the Test series just recently.
Sri Lanka posted a mammoth total of 377 to chase for Pakistan, which seemed highly unlikely as Pakistan has had a habit of being rather careless in chasing down totals. In fact, this total was the highest ever being faced by Pakistan to win in a Test match. Opening batsman Shan Masood and the evergreen Younus Khan were instrumental in chasing down the enormous score. Masood made an outstanding 125 – the youngster’s maiden Test century. He played some exquisite shots all over the ground, showing his class and composure. The veteran, Younus, played an innings to remember as he stood tall at the Pallakelle pitch with an unbeaten 171.
Younus is now Pakistan’s most successful Test batsman. During his outstanding display of cricketing genius, he broke several records in the process which also earned him the man of the match award in the third Test. As far as the bowling department is concerned, Pakistan spin prodigy Yasir Shah bamboozled the Sri Lankan lineup with his amazing arsenal of bowling. He used all his tricks, to which the Sri Lankan batsmen had no answer to. He bagged a total of 24 wickets in the series, rightfully earning the Man of the Series award. The 29-year-old has jumped to the fourth spot in the ICC Test rankings for best bowler. Younus is on the sixth spot in the ICC Test rankings for best batsman.
This chase was the sixth-highest in Test cricket history. This feat has been praised heavily by the giants of the cricketing world.
Pakistan legend and former captain Inzamamul Haq praised the team saying that, “the win is more praiseworthy as we (Pakistan Cricket Team) are weak chasers.”
Muhammad Yousuf also shed light on the heroics of the team by saying that, “I think the Pakistan team made everybody happy and proud and this is what is expected of them. It is a good combination of senior and young players now in the team.”
Former wicket-keeper Rashid Latif didn’t hold back either. He commented, “Younus has a strong character. Whenever the chips are down, he steps up, fights back, and scores a ton like he did in this Test. But I can surely say that, he is a team player and is a great role model for young players.”
Pakistani captain Misbahul Haq also praised both Shan Masood and Younus Khan saying that, “they both played the innings of their life. They both coordinated well and absorbed the pressure.”
He also added that Yasir played a pivotal role in the series and was the differentiating factor in between the sides.
The little master, Hanif Muhammad, also highlighted the performances of both Shan Masood and Younus Khan.
As we know that, when it comes to supporting Pakistan at the level of cricket, the fans are always by the side of the team. Fans are truly ecstatic over the success. They have waited for nine long years for a victory against Sri Lanka at their home.
Seeing your team win brings on a sense of pride and boosts your own moral as a fan. Especially in Pakistan, where cricket is a major sport and we are represented on an international level, when the green team wins, we know that everything else will be okay. Especially during Ramadan, when people are fasting, and seem quiet and may be lackadaisical, watching cricket and seeing their success definitely energizes many.
Sports have the power to rejuvenate one’s mind and relax one’s senses. If such performances continue, it would be a great relief for Pakistanis mentally.
As the Test series goes in favor of Pakistan, the next Test is a series of five one-day internationals starting from July 11. Captain Azhar Ali will be looking to take the winning momentum into the day-night matches. He and the rest of the team will be hoping for a series triumph, in turn acquiring a higher standing in the ICC ODI rankings to have a chance of qualifying for the prestigious event – the ICC Champions Trophy.