“They will try to bat with more focus on final day,” says young opener Abdullah Shafique

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By our correspondent

KARACHI: Chasing 506 when Pakistan lost Imam-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali cheaply, it seemed that the game will end on Tuesday. But it did not happen as Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam (102*) and Abdullah Shafique (71*) did a remarkable job and shared 171 runs for the third wicket unbroken stand to keep Pakistan’s hopes alive.

And Abdullah Shafique said that they will try to bat with the same focus on the final day on Wednesday (today).

“Today we got the momentum and a hope was created. Tomorrow is an important day and every effort will be made to bat with more focus and concentration and make a fightback,” Abdullah told a virtual news conference at the end of the fourth day’s play.

Pakistan still requires 314 runs to win the game which will be a record chase.

“There was still some reverse swing but we were settled and that helped,” Abdullah was quick to add.

After scoring a fine century in the first Test in Rawalpindi, Abdullah Shafique got run out here in the first innings but in the second innings he played with more application and gave a solid support to his captain Babar Azam who kept him guiding throughout the sweating partnership which they developed under pressure situation.

And Abdullah revealed that he also learnt from Babar during his partnership with him.

“Babar is the world’s best batsman and I learn from him. Today also I learnt from him and will try to learn from him in future also,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah said that he tries to play the ball on merit and stick to his basics.

“I try to stick to my basics. In difficult times your basics protect you and bring you out of trouble. I always try to play on merit and according to the situation,” Abdulah said.

“Our main aim tomorrow will be to help the team and bring it into a good situation and when I do this then comes individual performance,” the solid opener said.

When both Babar and Abdullah were batting it seemed that the pitch was playing easy but Abdullah said that they faced challenges on Tuesday also and will face them on the final day on Wednesday also.

“The pitch is the same and rough patches are created as the time progresses. We faced these challenges today and also will face them tomorrow,” said the opener. Abdullah was lucky when he was dropped by Steven Smith off Pat Cummins in the slips in the start of his innings. However, he capitalized on that opportunity which came his way and batted with more application until the end of the penultimate day as Pakistan reached 192-2.

He said that Australia also tried to bowl well on Tuesday.

“Australia is a tough side and they tried their level best to bowl well today. Tomorrow is very crucial day and we will try to bat with tough nerves and enable Pakistan to make a fightback,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah also revealed that they had planned that they would pad the deliveries from leggie Mitchell Swepson who was bowling round the legs. And this strategy of the Pakistani pair turned out to be successful as they averted any damage.