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Pakistan Poor Batting Overshadows Ajmal Magic

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Posted by on Monday, January 7, 2013, 10:49
This news item was posted in Sports category and has 1 Comment so far .

Saeed Ajmal spun his magic once again but Pakistan batsmen got trapped in their own web as the tourists were frozen out of a possible whitewash opportunity at Feroz Shah Kotla last night.

Saeed Ajmal

Saeed Ajmal

The headlines should have been describing a disciplined show by the touring bowlers and Ajmal’s career-best effort – the target was chaseable, the team, according to Misbahul Haq, was used to the conditions have played practice games in Lahore ahead of the tour and the Indian bowling was inexperienced and under-fire. Instead, Pakistan return home having won the series 2-1 and not 3-0 – a laudable performance nevertheless – but the nerves while chasing under lights were exposed once again.

Misbah chose to blame conditions – the cold, the fog and the mysteriously changing nature of the pitch – but termed India’s brilliant effort in the field as the main difference between two sides.

“We missed a huge opportunity for a clean sweep, especially after getting them out for a low total,” said Misbah following the 10-run loss. “But credit goes to the Indian bowlers and fielders. They exploited the conditions better than us and saved at least 35 runs in the field which proved to be the main difference.

“Scoring wasn’t easy with the conditions we found ourselves in. It was spinning, seaming, there was moisture in the pitch. Forget scoring, even surviving on this sort of pitch was very difficult.”

His counterpart, MS Dhoni, too labelled his side’s fielding a major factor in the match going India’s way. There was a dropped catch, but diving efforts and a Suresh Raina direct hit ensured the hosts managed to drill out a consolation win.

“We fielded very well, saving about 20 runs and in low-scoring matches, this sort of effort makes a huge impact on the outcome,” said Dhoni. “The fielders complemented a great effort by the bowlers who maintained pressure throughout the innings and didn’t let our small total but a distraction.”

Pakistan were forced to alter their plans at the break after Mohammad Hafeez’s injury while bowling did not allow him to open the innings. While Kamran Akmal’s brief stay in the middle meant extra pressure early on, it was Umar Akmal’s yet another brain-fade with the win in sight that started the rot – Pakistan lost the last five wickets for just 33 runs. Umar was drafted into the playing-XI at the expense of Azhar Ali who failed to impress in the two earlier ODIs.

“We’re trying to talk to Umar and trying to make him realise the importance of patience and staying in the middle,” said Misbah, with his frustration clearly visible. “At this age, you think a big hit will ease the pressure off you but he needs to realise and understand the situation and play according to that.

“I don’t think it was a bad move to include him in the side. We thought the pitch was flat and that’s why we changed the line-up.”

“Credit goes to the Indian bowlers and fielders. They exploited the conditions better than us and saved at least 35 runs in the field which proved to be the main difference.”

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1 Response to “Pakistan Poor Batting Overshadows Ajmal Magic”

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