Watch: Ish Sodhi had Imam-ul-Haq stumped for 96 in the third innings of the Karachi Test match, and a frustrated Imam took it out on a chair on his way back to the pavilion.
New Zealand’s declaration on 612-9 in the first Test of the two-match series, at the National Stadium, left Pakistan needing to score 174 to avoid an innings defeat. By stumps on the fourth day, they lost Abdullah Shafique and Shan Masood, and on the final morning, night-watch Nauman Ali and captain Babar Azam, leaving them in dire straits at 100-4.
A counterattack from Sarfaraz Ahmed helped settle their nerves somewhat. Playing his first Test match in almost four years, Sarfaraz followed his first-innings 85 with a 76-ball 53. Agha Salman did not stay long, and Pakistan were only 32 ahead when Sodhi came to bowl to Imam.
Having opened the innings, Imam had lost six of his partners at the other end. To counter the turn from the rough outside his off-stump, he had been stretching down the crease for some time. He attempted that again, only to be deceived on two counts: the ball from Sodhi was too short for a drive, and it was a googly that Imam had not read. It was wide outside off-stump, and turned away from the bat.
As Imam played for the leg-break, the ball beat the outside edge of his bat, which was not close enough to the pitch of the ball to counter such errors. Tom Blundell, prepared for such an eventuality, gathered the ball to his left and whipped off the bails. Imam was left stranded so far down the pitch that he did not even bother to attempt a return.
Imam fell four short of what would have been his fourth Test hundred, but his first outside Rawalpindi. On his way back to the pavilion, he smashed the boundary rope, then a chair – empty, thankfully – with his bat.
The wicket gave Sodhi his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket, a day after he registered his highest score (65) in the format.
At the time of writing, Pakistan were 249-7 at tea, with Saud Shakeel (23*) and Mohammad Wasim (20*) at the crease. They lead by 75 runs, while 35 overs remain in the Test match.
Watch Imam-ul-Haq’s dismissal here:
End of a fine innings by Imam-ul-Haq 💔
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 30, 2022
Watch Imam-ul-Haq’s outburst here:
Le imam to cameraman: abey bsdk😂😅 pic.twitter.com/i56EcvKxdf
— Umar Khalil (@umarslogy) December 30, 2022