Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has asked his players to seize key moments in Test matches. Reckless batting from Sarfraz Ahmed’s team handed New Zealand their first away series win over Pakistan in 49 years as the Kiwis secured a 123-run victory in the third and final Test in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan had dismissed the visitors for 153 in the first innings of the first Test in Abu Dhabi but ended up losing the Test by four runs, chasing 176.
The hosts bounced back with an innings win in the Dubai Test but failed to finish things off in the third game. Pakistan were 286-3 in reply to New Zealand’s 274 but failed to gain a big first innings lead which ended up costing them the series.
“We missed opportunities and despite winning most of the sessions in the two losses we could not grab the moments to force a win,” Arthur was quoted as saying by AFP.
“It was our series to win but we ended up as the losing side and that’s highly disappointing.”
Pakistan lost all 10 wickets on the final day in both the defeats in Abu Dhabi. They have now lost all wickets on the final day six times since Arthur joined in May 2016. Even so, Arthur backed his batsmen – especially senior names Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq – to come good.
“The quality is there as they are the best players in Pakistan who are working very very hard and I back them to the hilt,” said Arthur.
“But we need to be tougher in the crucial moments and that comes to us grabbing moments and being tough. We could not do this in this series which is disappointing.”
He added: “I will defend Asad and Azhar to the hilt. Asad is a wonderful player. I rate him very highly and I still feel his best days are ahead of him.”
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