Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Fatullah February 25, 2014

'Batsmen should have finished better' - Misbah

ESPNcricinfo staff

'We should have won that' - Misbah

Pakistan's 12-run defeat to Sri Lanka in the opening match of the Asia Cup meant they hadn't managed to chase a 250-plus target successfully since February 2011. Asked what the issue was, their captain Misbah-ul-Haq said they had no problem constructing chases, but simply lacked finishing.

"I think there is no problem," he said. "We just chased even in the Test match [against Sri Lanka in Sharjah, where they scored 302 in 57 overs in the fourth innings], and the effort even today was good. A little bit more, we should have batted the same way, batsmen should have taken a little bit more responsibility and finished the game."

At one stage, with Misbah and Umar Akmal at the crease and both having crossed 50, Pakistan seemed to be cantering to an easy win. Their batsmen then proceeded to gift Sri Lanka wickets with a series of poor shots.

"The way Umar and I had a partnership going, if we had just played out the overs the match was easy," Misbah said. "Only a wicket could get them back in the game, and that is the mistake we made."

Pakistan had done well to restrict Sri Lanka to 296, after Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara had laid the platform for a massive total with their 161-run stand for the second wicket. Misbah was pleased with the job his bowlers had done at the death, but wished they had started the match a little stronger.

"In the last 10 overs, if you see, whichever bowlers we used, they gave away 64 runs," Misbah said. "This was the reason we held them back. Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan have been bowling the last few overs for some time now, and they did the same thing today. I think at the start we bowled too many bad balls, or boundary balls. If we had bowled a little better then, the 10-15 run margin that decided the game, I think we could have done better."