he came. he saw. he conqured. he remained unconquered. but has the 'flaky' misbah done enough to save pakistan? let's, quickly, consider how much the maestro from mianwali has toiled to keep the men from his side of the wagah afloat in this match...and the series
today, he played more than half the number of deliveries bowled during the entire duration of the pakistani innings. he was at the crease for over 80% of the time the pakistani first innings lasted. at the end of it all, he wasn't dismissed. he rarely looked in any kind of trouble. and we won't say we told you he was going to be the next inzamam-ul-haq. we'll leave that for the other more well-known mouthpieces. all this to say without misbah, this series would have by now been decided in india's favour. that said, it still looks like it's going that way.
just when it looked like india had dropped the ball, lost the plot and handed back the initiative to pakistan - despite, shockingly enough, having scored over 600 runs in the first innings - kumble, laxman and the gods of cricket conjured up a moment of magic to add to the glittering array of memories and stars this wonderful match has throw up for our entertainment and enrichment. rarely have we been witness to a match with more brilliant performances. jaffer. dravid. sachin. laxman. sourav. dhoni. bhajji's 5 wicket haul. kumble's tireless spell. misbah. akmal. sami. jaffer again. the return of a refreshed, radiant but sadly luckless shoaib in the second innings. and we've still got a potentially gripping final day's play to come.
as is often the case after a team scores big...very big in the first knock on a wicket with only marginally more life than in a fossil, it's up to that team to make more things happen. so far, that team - india - have held the initiative for most part of this match....with a little help from a lackluster display by the pakistani top order batsman. come tomorrow, it'll be up to the indian bowlers, and fielders, to better their largely average first innings performances with a series of superior, decisive knock-out punches. Ys or no Ys, they can be certain as sunrise that one man will be calmly waiting for them. misbah.