by Anura Guruge
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On the 2nd day of the 1st Test, in the UAE, as Pakistan declared at 523-8, and the players were trooping off, Bumbles, with Botham (I think) concurring, said something along the lines of: “Only one team can win this now. The best that England can play for is a draw”.
As a keen observer of the game, that surprised me. It seemed WAY too premature. If the score was 723 I could have had more sympathy.
As we all now know England came within a whisker of WINNING this Test and should have IF they didn’t stop play for bad light with 11 overs remaining. So Bumble and Botham were WAY off mark. To be fair they are usually very good, astute given their vast experience and canny as hell. This was atypical.
I thought Misbah declared too prematurely. So he wanted 23 overs against England that day. That was too much. He should have tried to have batted for another 5 overs and got at least another 20 on the board. Wahab is capable. He can bat. Those 20 runs could have made such a difference.
But the point. You can, NOT these days, ever call a Test match UNTIL, at least the 3rd innings. Remember how Sri Lanka won against India earlier this year?
Good Test match. Enjoyed it.