Pakistan urged to show fight

Saeed Ajmal Misbah ul-HaqFormer Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar had urged the current side to show some guts and determination as they look to square the series with Sri Lanka in the second Test (Sri Lanka 7/4, Pakistan 4/1, draw 5/6 – Match Prices).

The islanders took a 1-0 series lead with a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan on Sunday as skipper Angelo Mathews hit the winning runs in fading light with just a handful of overs to spare.

The game looked to be heading for a draw after the tourists amassed 451 in their first innings only for the Sri Lankans to reply with 533-9 declared thanks to 221 from Kumar Sangakkara (Sangakkara 5/2 – Top Sri Lanka Batsman – 1st Innings).

Pakistan began day five on 4-1 but were shot out for just 180, giving the hosts the relatively simple task of knocking off 99 runs for victory.

It was a dreadful batting display by Misbah-ul-Haq’s men on day five and they will need to regroup quickly for the second match which begins on Thursday in Colombo.

Shoaib was critical of his compatriots’ display and questioned whether they actually have the resolve to fight back later this week.

“It was abject surrender and our players showed no heart, courage or a positive mindset,” he said. “If they don’t work on these things they can’t bounce against Sri Lanka.”

The 38-year-old was one of the world’s fastest bowlers in his prime and struck fear into many batsmen around the world, and he is adamant that it does not matter how much talent a player has if he does not have the courage to back it up.

“I have played a lot of cricket and I know at the end of the day technique does not matter that much as does how much heart and spirit a player shows on the field in pressure situations,” he added.

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