The inevitable happened to the dismay of Pakistan. Te adage that ‘catches win matches is somehow lost on Indian and Pakistan teams. They fail to learn even after countless kicks in the wrong end. Sangakkara, helped by a splendid century by Prasanna Jayawardhane, not only saved the test match, they almost notched up Pakistan’s score.
Pakistan committed the cardinal mistake of missing 6 catches, the last benefactor being Herath. Sangakkara himself was dropped twice but was all class on the final day as he compiled his 5th double century. When Sangakkara fell at last to part-timer Azhar Ali on 211, the match had just one result written on it.
Sangakkara and Prasanna made the most of an absolutely docile pitch, which refused to break contrary to the nature of general Asian pitches. They survived the tiring and tactless Pakistan bowlers for 5 hours. Prasanna, who also got a respite yesterday, was more aggressive than yesterday.
Incidentally, Pakistan bowlers had an involuntary revenge on their fielding side by not including them into their wickets. Apart from two taken by wicketkeeper Aidan Akmal, the rest were bowled, leg before or run out. Both run outs were foolish and wicket keeper is the safest catcher with gloves on. These statements underline the plight of Pakistan.
Umar Gul was the lone bowler who got some purchase and eventually finished with a creditable 4 wickets. Aizaz Cheema impressed in spurts but it is their spin department that needs some classes from past maestros Abdul Qadir, Mushtaq Mohammed and Saqlain Mushtaq.
Chasing an impossible 170 in a handful of overs, the match was called off at 21 for 1 unanimously but the two captains. It is ironical that Taufeeq Umar, who played valiantly for his 238 might have been the actual villain of this match. In hindsight, he actually wasted a lot of time.