Sarfraz admits being worried at 14 for three

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed admits he was worried when his team slipped to 14/3 chasing a target of 160 but praised his two inexperienced batsmen for getting them over line in the one-off Test against Ireland in Malahide.

Imam-ul-Haq (74 not out), who was making his Test debut, and Babar Azam (59), in his 12 Test, combined for a 126-run stand to seal a five-wicket win in the second session on the fifth and final day.

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Pakistan have had a tendency to screw up chasing low totals in Tests recently but Sarfraz praised the character of his two batsmen.

Sarfraz said: “Definitely we were worried when we were down 14 for three.

“But it’s really good that these two young players in our team, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, the way they played, they showed their character, they showed their confidence.

“I think the way they played gives great confidence to the team and will help them in the next matches as well.”

The Pakistan skipper said the victory set them up nicely for the two Tests against England, starting next week, with a relatively young Test line-up taking plenty of confidence into that series.

Besides Imam and Babar, Faheem Ashraf was also on Test debut and scored 83 in the first innings while spinner Shadab Khan, playing his second Test, took four wickets and scored a fifty.

Sarfraz continued: “We are very confident. We are a very young side, we had two debutant players, but we were very confident.

“It was very important the way these two young players are batting. I think it’s very good for Pakistan as a team to chase this on the fifth day.”

The first Test between Pakistan and England start’s at Lord’s from 24 May.