Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez said the team’s heaviest defeat in Twenty20 internationals – a 94-run thrashing at the hands of Australia in the final match after having already claimed the series – was a wake-up call ahead of the World Twenty20.
After a comfortable win in the opening encounter followed by a nervy victory in the second, Pakistan were humiliated on Monday, shot out for their lowest total of 74 in the format. Earlier, the bowlers were able to contain Australia after openers David Warner and Shane Watson had given them a flying start. The pair put on a record 111 inside 11 overs before Pakistan restricted the total to 168 for seven. In their reply, however, they were reduced to 36 for six with the match effectively over.
Hafeez, who was dismissed for nine, was wary of Pakistan’s appalling record when they bat second and hoped his side would improve ahead of the mega event in Sri Lanka.
“This defeat is a wake-up call,” said Hafeez. “The way we approached the chase wasn’t good. We didn’t play smart cricket and lost too many wickets in the beginning but credit must be given to Australia.
“They played much better. Our team played well throughout the series and the boys gave it their all. We wanted to win every game and there was no complacency after having won the series. Twenty20 cricket requires you to do the right things at the right time and we didn’t do that [in the final game].
“But we will carry the momentum of winning the series and the victory will boost our morale in the mega event. Though we lost the final match, the players still have that happy feeling of the series-win.”
Hafeez, like most Pakistan captains, also urged the batsmen to ‘take more responsibility’.
“We wanted to bat second before the World Twenty20. We got the chance and the batsmen let us down. There’s a need to improve our energy level when we chase and field. But, unfortunately, we panicked.”
Pakistan batted second in the opening Twenty20 as well but there the bowlers had made the chase much easier.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2012.
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