5 instances when Pakistan collapsed on the final day
Test cricket, while it may seem dull and boring, is the ultimate form of the game: testing every player in each aspect – patience, determination, temperament and technique.
Sometimes, there are games that are heading towards a tame draw, and suddenly, life springs into them out of nowhere, courtesy a collapse or a brilliant spell. No one knows it better than Pakistan: they are one of the teams prone to collapses, especially on the fifth day of a Test match or while chasing in one-day cricket.
Pakistan have the tag of being ‘consistently inconsistent’, the sole reason being that they play brilliantly on one day and disappointingly on the other. And one of the reasons for their shoddy performances has been frequent collapses. When you think that they will get through with a draw, they spring a surprise with a collapse.
With their recent collapse against Sri Lanka (where they failed to chase down 136 on the final day) being their 8th collapse since 2014 and 6th since 2016 (all on the final day), let’s have a look at five of them.
#5 Abu Dhabi, 2015 – vs England
For four days, the Zayed Stadium’s pitch bore the criticism of being boring and heavily inclined towards batsmen. Shoaib Malik and Alastair Cook made the most of the flat pitch by scoring majestic double tons (245 and 263 respectively). Pundits were screaming their lungs out at the placid nature of the pitch, and just when everyone had given up, the game took a dramatic turn in the last session of the final day.
After scoring 598 in reply to Pakistan’s 523, England declared on the fifth morning, with the pitch still flat and the game heading towards a draw. Even at tea, the hosts had just lost three wickets and a draw seemed inevitable.
Pakistan then decided to spring life into the game by playing a few rash shots and gifting wickets to the England bowlers. Losing the last seven wickets for 60 runs, they folded for 173, setting England a target of 99 with 18 overs remaining.
Lady luck eventually seemed to be on Pakistan’s side, as light faded with England 25 runs short of a memorable win.