Saturday Aug 21 2021

Pak vs WI: Babar Azam hopes team will steer out of trouble in second Test

Pak vs WI: Babar Azam hopes team will steer out of trouble in second Test

  • Babar Azam expresses high hopes of recovery in second Test, saying Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf are still standing on the crease.
  • Babar Azam praises Fawad Alam, saying he is in the best form and other cricketers should learn from him on how to perform in difficult times. 
  • Azam says his efforts to improve form are bearing fruit.

National cricket team captain Babar Azam is hoping his team will accomplish the targets set for the second day of the second Test match in a two-match ICC World Test Championship series against West Indies being played at the Sabina Park, Jamaica.

"We will achieve the targets as Muhammed Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf are still present on the crease," said the 26-year-old right-hand batsman.

"We aim to set a target between 300 to 350 runs in the first innings."

At the very outset of the game, the pitch was favouring bowlers, said the skipper, adding, however, Fawad Alam held out his full support following the fall of three early wickets.

Babar Azam said, "Both of us [I and Fawad Alam] decided that it was vital to stay on the crease for long."

"I told Fawad Alam that we will have to strike a long-term partnership to steer the team out of trouble."

"So we set out targets session after session while eyeing to score 300 to 350 runs in the first innings," he added.

Azam said he was striving hard to improve his performance in the long format of the game. He expressed happiness over his hard work bearing fruit.

The skipper also lavished praise on teammate Fawad Alam, saying other cricketers should learn from the way he performs in difficult times.

"Fawad Alam is in excellent form and he is playing marvellous cricket," he said.

During his batting, Fawad had cramps and a team doctor and physio specialist are treating him, Babar said.

Fawad Alam will get on the field to bat, he added. 

Babar Azam, Fawad Alam lead Pakistan recovery

Babar Azam missed out on a hundred but Fawad Alam may yet have the chance to reach three figures after the pair lifted Pakistan from a horrific start to end day one of the second Test against the West Indies in relative comfort at 212 for four at Sabina Park on Friday.

Babar's composed 75 through almost five hours at the crease and Fawad's typically pugnacious 76 before retiring hurt from severe leg cramps just after tea rescued the tourists from the depths of three for two.

Kemar Roach once again led the charge with the ball for the home side, taking three for 49 off 17 overs, striking in his first two overs of the match.

He then returned in the final session to claim the all-important wicket of Babar when the Pakistan captain appeared to be moving serenely towards a sixth Test century.

His fourth-wicket stand with Fawad was worth 158 when the awkward-looking left-hander had to limp off the field on a sweltering afternoon in the Jamaican capital where temperatures hit 34 degrees.

Those dehydrating conditions also claimed West Indies wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva who was replaced by Jahmar Hamilton for the rest of the day when the first-choice gloveman left the field just before tea.

Despite Babar's dismissal and the temporary loss of Fawad, Pakistan remain on course for a challenging first innings total with Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf set to resume on the second morning in a fifth-wicket partnership that has added 44 runs.

That promising position was in stark contrast though to the situation Pakistan found themselves in when they were tottering at two for three just four overs into the day.