‘Job isn’t done yet’ centurion Abdullah aims to lead Pakistan to victory

GALLE: Pakistan’s fourth-inning centurion Abdullah Shafique, who bolstered the touring side to close in on the 342-run target has set his sights on leading the Green Shirts to victory in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Abdullah, in a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s released statement on the conclusion of the fourth day of the ongoing Test, expressed satisfaction with his magnificent knock, while at the same time claiming that he is aware that the job is not done yet.

“First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to the Almighty as I was able to score second Test hundred for Pakistan. We are currently in a very comfortable position, so I will do everything in my power to ensure that we pursue the total tomorrow,” Abdullah stated.

“The job is not done yet but the strive will be to maintain our focus tomorrow and chase the remaining total. The target is to not get easy in any phase and I am hopeful the result will be in our favour,” he added.

The right-handed batter then went on to reveal the team’s strategy to go for the total and claimed that they divided the target into small partitions, session by session to move closer to it by the end of the day.

“The master plan was to go for the chase, but we made small targets session by session to come closer to it,” he revealed.

The opening batter, who remained unbeaten with a magnificent 122, also opined on his crucial 101-run partnership with Pakistan captain Babar Azam and claimed that the latter’s presence gives him a lot of confidence.

“Babar is a wonderful batter and I have always learned from him. It was helpful to have him at the other end. He was guiding me throughout,” Abdullah shared.

“His wicket put more responsibility on me. I tried to not lose a wicket and help my team finish the day on a high note. Now, my target is to win this match for my team tomorrow,” he maintained.

Abdullah then heaped praises on Sri Lanka’s left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya and claimed that the team’s strategy was to go after him and stop him from stifling the touring batters.

“We chose to pursue Jayasuriya, a fantastic bowler who was extremely challenging to face on this pitch, and develop scoring options against him so that he wouldn’t feel like he was succeeding,” he concluded.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan need a further 120 runs on the final day to seal victory in the ongoing first Test against Sri Lanka. Centurion Abdullah (122*) and Mohammad Rizwan (7*) will resume the proceedings for the touring side at 222/3.

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