Gulf Today (UAE) – Sarfraz proud of Imam, Babar
as Pak survive Ireland scare

DUBLIN: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed praised the character of young batsmen Imam-ul Haq and Babar Azam after they ensured his decision to enforce the follow-on in Ireland’s inaugural Test did not backfire.

Summary

  • Sarfraz proud of Imam, Babaras Pak survive Ireland scare DUBLIN: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed praised the character of young batsmen Imam-ul Haq and Babar Azam after they ensured his decision to enforce the follow-on in Ireland’s inaugural Test did not backfire.
  • Only three times in the 141-year history of Test cricket have a side won after following-on but when Pakistan were 14 for three, chasing a modest 160 to win on Tuesday’s final day of this stand-alone match, it seemed Ireland might mark their entry into the format with a stunning success.
  • But 22-year-old left-handed opener Imam, himself making a Test debut, responded to the pressure of the situation with a composed 74 not out — his third fifty of the tour following half-centuries in warm-up matches against Kent and with the 23-year-old Babar, who made 59 after being dropped on nine shortly after lunch, he shared a stand of 126 that took Pakistan to the brink of an eventual five-wicket win over a competitive Ireland side.
  • “But it’s really good that these two young players in our team, Imam-ul Haq and Babar Azam, the way they played, they showed their character, they showed their confidence.
  • But Imam, whose selection for the tour led to allegations of nepotism given he is the nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former Test batsman Inzamam-ul Haq, didn’t just hold his nerve but counter-attacked with a maturity belying his lack of experience.

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