Chasing big totals in the fourth innings has become the norm these days with first England pulling off four consecutive Test wins and Pakistan continued the same by chasing down a daunting target of 344 against Sri Lanka at Galle.
Without taking anything away from England, Pakistan’s win is better than that of England as it was on a track, which was turning square and the hero of the chase was 22-year-old Abdullah Shafique, who was just playing his sixth Test. He showed tremendous maturity and a solid temperament to get Pakistan across the line and chase down a target, which will go down in the history as one of the best fourth-innings chase.
Temperament of steel
Sri Lanka might have had an inexperienced attack, but they had enough runs on the board and a spinner in Prabath Jayasuriya, who had picked 12 wickets in his very first Test to beat the Australia. The wicket had everything to offer for the spinners, the ball was bouncing and turning square. But Shafique showed temperament of steel and concentration to score a majestic unbeaten 160, which even his captain Babar Azam would be proud off.
Shafique had been picked by the Pakistan selectors after just a handful first class games where he had an average of 81 and proved them right and so far has already scored 720 runs in his six Tests at an average of 80 with two hundreds and four half centuries.
Pakistan were looking for a solid opening Test batter and in Shafique they seemed to have found the right man to fit the mantle.