DUBAI: Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez said he is confident his team will beat Australia in the Twenty20 series and go on to prosper at the World Twenty20 championship in Sri Lanka.
Pakistan trounced Australia by seven wickets in the first Twenty20 international on Wednesday, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
“Our win will help us in the World Twenty20, we need to carry the winning momentum on into the World Twenty20,” said Hafeez of the World Twenty20 which starts on September 18.
Pakistan’s spin trio of Saeed Ajmal, Hasan Raza and Hafeez shared six wickets to bowl Australia out for their second lowest Twenty20 total of 89 before the modest target was achieved for the loss of three wickets.
The second match will be played here on Friday.
Hafeez denied he was surprised at Australia’s capitulation.
“It wasn’t surprising because I am confident that my bowling will come good and this is a good sign for our team ahead of the big event where we want to do well,” said Hafeez.
Australia’s captain George Bailey expressed disappointment over the abject loss.
“I am very disappointed and there’s plenty to go away and work on. You don’t ever want to be setting those sorts of records. But in terms of the group we’ve got together and what we’re capable of, it certainly hasn’t altered my thoughts that we can still be a very good team,” said Bailey.
Bailey, whose team is ranked a lowly ninth in Twenty20 cricket, insisted his team can still win the World Twenty20.
“I still think we can win it. Definitely. Absolutely. I certainly don’t think we will win if we play like we did today. It’s hopefully just a bad performance and one that you won’t see again. Even if we gained a tiny bit of momentum, we gave it back by losing a wicket.”
Bailey said he hoped Australia, who won the preceding one-day series 2-1, will improve.
“It’s a work in progress, it’s going to be a real key the way we play spin and the way we play spin heading into the World Twenty20 too, so we’re working on it.
“In terms of the World Twenty20 there’s no better practice than playing against the world class spinners that Pakistan have in these three games,” said Bailey.
More in PakistanMedia accountability petition: SC orders freeze on Information ministry’s ‘secret account’