Mohammad Abbas' first 10-wicket haul in a Test match gifted Pakistan a series win against Australia in UAE this Friday. The pacer was at his best throughout the game and bagged fifer in both the innings bothering the visitors.
In second innings, Australia was chasing a huge target of 538 runs and ended up losing by 373 runs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Abbas was picked as the Man of the Match with overall 17 wickets in his pocket in 2-match Test series.
Impressed with the 28-year-old's breathtaking bowling performance, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed praised him. "Looks like they hadn't prepared for Abbas, they took him a little easy," said Sarfraz.
Pakistan captain added that the pitch wasn't a pacer friendly pitch but Abbas did well to dig out wickets here also. "But credit goes to Abbas because the pitch is not suitable for fast bowlers," he said. "The way he bowled, he was the best bowler on either side. The way he bowled throughout he was the main factor for us winning the series," Sarfraz added.
Australia managed to draw the first game, but the second game was completely out of their reach with batsmen failing in both the innings. The Tim Paine led side looked comparatively weaker than Pakistan team without big names who are serving bans for ball tampering.
Sarfraz said he isn't surprised by the win. He went on to add that both the team were deprived of experience without senior players.
"I am not so surprised at this win," said Sarfraz. "Both teams are missing senior players. The way my team played the first match, we almost won it but couldn’t. The way we recovered from 57-5 on day one was remarkable."
After the Pakistan captain, Paine, Aussie skipper, also lauded Abbas for his awe-inspiring performance. "Abbas is a world-class bowler," said Paine. "He (Abbas) challenged our defense and was too good for us. Yasir didn’t get the wickets, but he bowled just as well. Over here, one of the things our bowlers talked about was building pressure from both ends. That is what Pakistan did really well together."
Paine if finding the defeat disappointing and tough to digest. He had high hopes after starting well in the series.
"It's bitterly disappointing, no doubt. We had some momentum from the first Test, started really well here but it went a bit pear-shaped, to be honest, all over the field," he said.
"It's hard to swallow. We came here to win this series and we did OK in the first Test and showed at least some fight and showed the style and brand of cricket we wanted to play."