Fighting fire with fire: Sarfraz responds

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There is a point in the sci-fi classic, The Matrix, when the newly recruited hero, Neo, is in the subway under pursuit from the seemingly unstoppable villain, Agent Smith.

Our hero, who has struggled for belief until now, rather than take the logical course of action and run, stands his ground in the face of impossible odds. His mentor Morpheus, who is observing from afar, comes to a realisation about Neo and gasps, “He is beginning to believe.”

Today, in a thrilling game against South Africa, it seems Pakistan, too, stood their ground and found some self-belief. The stars, of course, were the fast bowlers.

Know more: Seamers, Sarfraz inspire as rampant Pakistan sink South Africa

Defending another mediocre total, the seamers were tremendous in their defense; bowling with bounce, swing, and accuracy, as they shook the South African batting to its core.

Credit must go to the skipper Misbah-ul-Haq for once again defending a below par total, with intelligent use of his resources through tight field-settings. Credit must also go to the team for not losing hope after South Africa took command of the chase with an aggressive start.

Coach Waqar Younis has worked hard on improving the bowling lengths of his young charges, and the result was an exceptional performance.

While Waqar has been criticised for using Rahat Ali instead of Yasir Shah as the fifth bowler, the decision has paid off so far. Rahat Ali is improving all the time, has been a key element in three Pakistan victories; his unplayable yorker was the delivery of the day.

Quinton de Kock wears a wry smile after falling to a bouncy Irfan delivery. —AP
Quinton de Kock wears a wry smile after falling to a bouncy Irfan delivery. —AP

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