September 1, 2001

Waqar backs Wasim

Pakistan captain sympathized with his new ball partner Wasim Akram after the left-armer went wicketless in the Asian Test Championship opener against Bangladesh.

"I think he bowled pretty well and saw a couple of catches dropped of his bowling," Waqar said in the post match conference.

"I think I was a bit lucky and got a couple of cheap wickets while Wasim was unfortunate that despite bowling well, he couldn't get any wickets. But it should not be a concern," Waqar said.

Waqar said it was a great feeling to start the domestic season with a comprehensive and confortable victory and the win, no matter it was against the minnows, would give his boys a world of confidence.

"Naturally there is always a room for improvement. When we will sit down again, we will try to rectify our mistakes. I don't want to throw the weaker areas in the background," the skipper said.

Waqar agreed that the opponents were an ordinary lot but emphasized that the conditions were difficult. "It was very hot out there," he said.

"Bangladesh are new to Test cricket and will surely get better," he said.

Bangladesh coach Trevor Chappell and skipper Naimur Rahman were critical of their batting and blamed it for the defeat.

"The conditions were good for batting and I thought it would be hard work for the bowlers to get the batsmen out. But our batsmen got out themselves," the Australian said. But Rahman was even more aggressive. "We should have shown sense in the middle. The top order was disappointing and we should have played better. I expected that the batsmen will learn from their mistakes of the first innings. But disappointingly, they didn't.

Chappell opined that his guys felt the pressure of being up against a formidable Pakistan with world class players. However, he played down a magnificent performance by Danish saying he didn't deserve 12 wickets in the match.

"It was always an uphill task for Bangladesh although I think Pakistan was not at its full strength. Danish Kaneria bowled well but he was certainly not unplayable. But probably he didn't deserve that many wickets.