Misbah lauds Pakistan character, hails classy Shafiq
Misbah-ul-Haq hailed the character Pakistan showed in coming just 40 runs short of chasing down 490 in the first Test with Australia, and described Asad Shafiq's hundred as one of the classiest innings he has seen.
The tourists appeared set for a heavy defeat in Brisbane, having been bowled out for 142 in their first-innings reply to Australia's 429, with the hosts then declaring on 202-5 in the second innings to set Pakistan a mammoth target.
Producing a performance that was in stark contrast to their earlier struggles with the bat, Pakistan posted 450 in their attempt at a world-record run chase, Yasir Shah's wicket the last to fall as the tailender was run out by Steve Smith for 33.
Asad Shafiq was the star for Pakistan with a fine century, eventually falling for 137 on day five, with Azhar Ali (71), Younis Khan (65) and Mohammad Amir (48) also impressing in the innings.
Speaking at his post-match media conference, Misbah - who will be looking to improve his own performance with the bat after scoring just nine runs across the two innings - said Pakistan's show of defiance set the tone for the rest of three-match series.
"[I'm] happy to see the team playing like that, chasing 490 in the last inning - having got out on 142 in the first inning - the character all the batsmen showed, that was wonderful," Misbah said.
"That set the tone for the series, I think at the moment I could not explain how happy I am for all the guys, especially for Asad's inning - one of the classiest innings I've ever seen in the context of the game, the way he handled the pressure, playing with the tail, he made a match out of nothing.
"A lot of positives for us, especially in Australia, batting is your main problem. I think the way we showed that, I think we're looking forward with confidence for the coming two Test matches.
"The mindset was positive and we want to create something out of that and we want to score runs. Azhar Ali's knock was special and then Younis Khan, and that partnership was special for us, Asad Shafiq, the way Sarfraz [Ahmed] played in the first innings [scoring 59 not out], that gave us a glimpse that these are bat-able conditions and if we apply ourselves we can score runs."
Asked if he was disappointed in the game ending with a run-out, Misbah replied: "We got everything we wanted from this game, especially in the last inning, I can't complain about anybody.
"The tail contributed hugely on a wicket where there was a lot for the seamers and there was pace, bounce, they showed courage and had good partnerships so I'm happy.
"When you lose, always you feel a bit of disappointment but I think overall I am a happy man [with] the way we played."