The proud Captain of Pakistan, Misbah-Ul-Haq was pleased with his own performance and his entire team’s as well after winning the important match against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan won the important encounter against the Lankan Lions by six wickets in the third match of the Asia Cup 2012 which was played at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur on March 15.
The Islanders set a nominal target of 189 runs for the Green Shirts to win the encounter. Pakistan started off in a cautious manner and paid the price when they were reeling at 33 after losing their three top order batsmen. They were in all sorts of trouble when Misbah and the youngster Umar Akmal played determined innings and shared a match winning partnership of 152 runs.
The spirited association for the fourth wicket demoralised the Sri Lankans and their body language was obvious as the duo was on assault. Umar Akmal played a heroic knock of 77 runs scored off 72 balls after punching 2 lofted sixes and 7 sweetly timed fours. The Green Shirts measured up the target on the fifth ball of the 40th over and by virtue of scoring the desired runs within 40 overs, they also gained a bonus point.
Pakistan was humiliated recently by England 4-0, when they were beaten all ends up in the one Day International series played in United Arab Emirates. Their batting let them down in the entire series whereas the bowlers kept on striking in all matches.
Pakistan has acquired the services of the world famous Australian coach, Dave Whatmore who is with the team while guiding them to overcome their weaknesses. They have shown a lot of improvement in the batting during the ongoing Asia Cup. Misbah hailed his batsmen and urged them to be more responsible for attaining positive results in future whereas their bowling attack was fully equipped along with a match winning Saeed Ajmal. He said,
“We have to be more consistent as a batting unit. The bowling has always kept us in the hunt. Especially, if you have a world class bowler like Saeed Ajmal in your team, its a big edge.”
Fast bowler Aizaz Cheema faced a harsh treatment in his opening spell and the Lankan openers spoiled his line and length. He was hammered for 17 runs in his first over which included three reeling shots to the boundary and he faced the same fate in his second over when eight runs were given.
Misbah kept on assuring Aizaz and continued with him as he gained back his confidence and at the end of the day won the match by grabbing four important wickets. He got rid of their three top order batsmen, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara while Lasith Malinga was his fourth victim.
Misbah revealed that he encouraged Cheema to continue with his attacking bowling, something that would bring success and the latter produced the anticipated results after having been self assured. He said,
“I kept on telling Cheema that you have to aggressive as that’s your main weapon. The only way to contain batsmen is to bowl fast and get wickets.”
The Pakistani Captain has been struggling with his bat in the ODI series against England and he was under tremendous pressure. He played all four matches and managed 108 runs at an average of 27.00 with the best of 47 runs.
Misbah played an anchor role for the victory of the Green Shirts against Sri Lanka and smashed unbeaten 72 runs from 93 deliveries studded with one towering six and 9 fours. His confidence was boosted up and he explained the importance of his innings by saying,
“This knock was an important one for me. This will help me get my confidence back as the last England series wasn’t a good one for me.”