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‘We lacked discipline with the bat’ — Sarfraz Ahmed

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Pakistan lost the second and final Test to England by an innings and 55 runs at Headingley, and Sarfraz Ahmed felt it was the lack of batting discipline that took the game away from them.

After beating England by nine wickets in the first Test at Lord’s, Pakistan, who opted to bat first, were wrapped up in just 48.1 overs for a first-innings total of 174 on the first day of the Headingley Test.

England hit back, scoring 363 for a 189-run lead before Pakistan slumped to 134 all out in the second innings.

The two-Test series was split 1-1

The two-Test series was split 1-1

“We lacked discipline in batting in both the innings,” Ahmed said after the match. “I think they also bowled well on the first day, but we had to play well in this innings and unfortunately, we didn’t bat well as a unit.

“It’s disappointing that we had a chance to win the series but unfortunately we didn’t play well here.”

Despite losing the Test in Leeds and giving up a chance to win the series, Ahmed praised his young side’s performance and felt that they would learn from the mistakes.

The England bowlers were supreme at Headingley

The England bowlers were supreme at Headingley

“A lead of 180-plus put pressure on us and we committed mistakes. And our batting unit is young so they will learn from the mistakes,” said Ahmed.

“If you see when we came here people thought that we will not win one game but the way we played at Lord’s everything was perfect, our fast bowling was perfect, our batting and fielding were perfect. I am proud of my young team, the way (Mohammad) Abbas is bowling. Shadab (Khan) is doing well, Faheem (Ashraf) did well so really disappointed that we didn’t win but 1-1 is a good result for us.”

Pakistan, who haven’t hosted a Test match in their country since early 2009, were playing Test cricket after a long gap – the one-off Test against Ireland in the second week of May was their first game in the longest format since early October 2017.

One of the players who impressed Ahmed was his leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan

One of the players who impressed Ahmed was his leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan

“We played our last Test in October so it’s difficult when you play a Test after five or six months,” pointed out Ahmed. “Test cricket is a different format, you have to adjust to five-day cricket. So it’s tough for the Test players, like Abbas who played his last Test in October.

“It’s tough but as a professional, you have to adjust. We didn’t play well in this Test but in the last two Tests, we played well. The more you play Test cricket, you get to mature as Test player. Now we have five Tests in UAE (two against Australia and three against New Zealand), and then we have three in South Africa and that will help us mature.”

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