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PPI
May 17, 2018

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Sarfraz showers praises on Imam, Babar, Faheem

KARACHI: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed lauded Ireland’s performance in their maiden Test in which Pakistan survived a wobble to win by five wickets in Malahide.

Pakistan defeated Ireland but there was a point, with Pakistan 14 for three in their chase of 160, when the more celebrated Test nation was seen under pressure. “We were really confident. We have a really good batting side,” said Sarfraz, after Imam-ul-Haq (74 not out) and Babar Azam (59) had done the job for the team.

“These two young players in our team, Imam and Babar, the way they played, they showed the character, they showed the confidence. The way they played is a cause of great confidence for the team,” Sarfraz was quoted as saying by the ICC website.

“We were confident that whatever target will come, we will chase it down. But 14/3, we were a little concerned. But, as I said, the way Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam played, it was very important. I think it was very good for Pakistan, chasing on the fifth day,” he added.

Even before the wobble with the bat, Pakistan got a taste of what Ireland are capable of when Kevin O’Brien led a second-innings resistance. Batting first, Pakistan had declared on 310/9 and then bowled Ireland out for 130. Following on, Ireland had Ed Joyce (43) and William Porterfield (32) doing well at the top before O’Brien (118) and Stuart Thompson (53) took the fight to Pakistan.

“We know the conditions are very tough. Ireland conditions – it’s not easy to play for any Asian team to play their first Test match here,” said Ahmed.“We knew they will come very hard. The way the guys played and came back after being 130 all out, the way they bowled, the way they batted, it’s not easy to play Ireland,” he said.

“Lots of boost for Imam, the way he played in this match, especially this special innings. I think credit goes to him and, hopefully, this will continue in the future too,” said Ahmed.“We are very impressed about Faheem’s performance too. When he came into the T20 side, we were impressed and saw that he was ready to play longer version. The way he batted – we need a bowling all-rounder in the team. That’s why we inducted him. As a captain, I am confident that more will come in the future.”Pakistan now play a two-day tour game against Leicestershire at Grace Road before the first Test against England at Lord’s on May 24.

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