Pakistan greats hail win over South Africa
by Cricket Archive Staff reporter
DateLine: 24th January 2007
Former greats Tuesday hailed Pakistan's comeback win over South Africa,
a victory described as the "best ever" by captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Led admirably by Inzamam, Pakistan achieved a comprehensive five-wicket
win over Graeme Smith-led Proteas on the fourth day of the second Test
at Port Elizabeth on Monday to level the three-match series at 1-1.
Vice captain Younis Khan and wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal hit contrasting
unbeaten half-centuries to take Pakistan to the challenging 191-run
Pakistan lost the first Test at Centurion by seven wickets.
"A win is a win and to have achieved that on foreign soil adds to the
achievement," said former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad. "The
difference between Australia and other teams is that they learn lessons
from their wins and try to improve with every match. Pakistan must also
analyse how the win was achieved," said Miandad, who has also coached
This becomes Pakistan's only second Test win in South Africa after they
won at Durban in 1998.
Miandad said Pakistan would have to lift their game to clinch the third
Test starting at Cape Town from Friday to achieve their first-ever
series win in South Africa.
Pakistan will be without their two frontline pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and
Umar Gul who are returning home injured. Akhtar, who took 4-36 to knock
down South Africa for a low score of 124 in the first innings, tore his
hamstring muscle and needed two weeks' rest.
Akhtar did not bowl in the second innings and is also feared to have
recurred an injury to his knee, operated last year.
Gul twisted his ankle during the warm-up match leading up to the first
Test and has not recovered since.
Miandad described Inzamam's unbeaten 92 which helped Pakistan gain an
invaluable 141-run lead as "incredible."
"Inzamam played very well and he scored runs with tail-enders in
company which shows a great character."
Another former captain and coach Intikhab Alam said Inzamam led the
team from the front.
"Akhtar gave Pakistan a very good start and to me dismissing South
Africa for 124 was the turning point and then Inzamam handled his
attack minus Akhtar admirably," said Alam, who also coached Punjab team
in neighbouring India.
Alam said the victory will be a great morale booster for Pakistan.
"I rated Pakistan as the better team than South Africa and now Pakistan
is in a good position to win the series, an achievement which they can
take into the World Cup in two months," said Alam, who was
coach-cum-manager of Pakistan when they won their only title in
Australia in 1992.
Pakistan also play five one-day internationals against South Africa
next month before heading to the West Indies for the World Cup in