KARACHI: Stunned after a shock defeat to Sri Lanka in the fourth One-Day International (ODI), Pakistan go into the final match in Colombo today with more than just an aim to level the series.
For long, Pakistan’s batting has been criticised for not being consistent and spoiling the bowlers’ good show but on Saturday it reached another low. A poor form was already exposed during the second ODI and it continued in the washed-out third game.
However, on Saturday, a sensational collapse saw the tourists lose seven wickets for 13 runs, including four in one over delivered by Thisara Perera as Pakistan went down by 44 runs in a game they should have won.
Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq, whose wicket was the first to fall during the collapse after he had contributed a half-century, said his team needed to show more responsibility.
He rued a missed opportunity of winning the fourth ODI and called on the batsmen to up their game.
“We will have to stop repeating our mistakes,” said Misbah. “We needed a run-a-ball and the batsmen should have taken more responsibility. Having played so many batsmen, each of them realise their responsibilities.”
Jayawardene hails team effort
On the other hand, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was a delighted man and was confident ahead of the final game.
“We were on the back foot and knew we’ll lose the match if we didn’t take wickets.
“It went our way and the bowlers should get the credit. In that situation, they put their hands up and bowled well. It was a team effort.”
Qasim hopes for comeback
Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Selector Iqbal Qasim hoped for a comeback in the series.
“The players’ performance in the fourth match was concerning,” said Qasim. “I was also dejected on the loss like the whole nation. But I am hoping that team will bounce back and level the series.”
To a query about a struggling Younus Khan after another failure in the fourth ODI, the chief selector said that saying anything on the batsman’s career was premature.
“Let’s wait and see his performance in the Test series.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2012.