Imran Farhat’s half-century lifts Pakistan – Cricket News Roundup – June 18, 2012 – Part 1
Pakistan made a steady start to the fifth ODI against Sri Lanka, posting 82 for 2, courtesy a composed half-century knock by Imran Farhat.
Following their baffling batting failure in the previous game, the Men In Green started slowly after skipper Misbah-ul-Haq decided to bat first as they lost Mohammad Hafeez early on - cleaned up by a superb inswinger from Nuwan Kulasekara.
However, they managed to rebuild through Farhat and the inform Azhar Ali, both of whom added 60 for the second wicket before the former well to Thisara Perera. The visitors made two changes to their lineup which saw Younis Khan and Saeed Ajmal being axed,
while Mohammad Sami was drafted in.
The Lankans brought in Jeevan Mendis in place of Sajeewa Weerakoon from the side which took a 2-1 lead after winning the fourth ODI.
England ODI skipper, Alastair Cook, heaped special praise on his bowlers by claiming that any team will struggle to cope with such combination.
The hosts won the first ODI against West Indies after Ian Bell marked his return to the side with a sublime century, helping his side to post 288. In reply, the tourists were bundled out on a disappointing 172, with every bowler chipping in with at least
“It makes it very hard for the opposition to get away from us. It's bloody hard to do that against four genuinely quick bowlers and a world-class spinner," insisted Cook.
Former Australian skipper, Ian Chappell, believes that losing players like Suresh Raina and Jonny Bairstow will be a big loss for Test cricket and has urged them to work on negotiating short pitched balls.
Raina, the Indian left-hander, and Bairstow, the promising England youngster, have both found it difficult to transform their ODI success into the Test Arena – the former had a disappointing time in England last year, while the latter also had an uneventful
debut Test series against the Windies.
"Both Bairstow and Raina are talented players with the skill to make big scores in the Test arena. If they fall short of expectations, it could be the result of inadequate preparation for a future at Test level," the Australian wrote in his column.