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Wisden Cricinfo staff
September 22, 2004
After the rather one-sided semi-final at the Rose Bowl, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Ramnaresh Sarwan (standing in for the injured Brian Lara) were in predictably contrasting moods in the post-match press conference:
On the decision to bat after winning the toss
It was a difficult decision, but we reckoned that if our top order saw off the new ball and got around 210-220, it would be a very difficult target to chase. We got off to a good start, but after being 65 for 1, we didn't build partnerships. The run-outs of Yasir Hameed and Abdul Razzaq were crucial too.
On whether the team suffered a letdown after their win over India
No, the team was confident, but not over-confident. We have been doing well, but in this game the batting just didn't click. We have been performing well of late, but we have lacked the finishing touch. In each of the last three tournaments - the Asia Cup, the tri-nation tournament in Amstelveen and here - we have started well but finished badly.
On opening the bowling attack with Shoaib Akhtar
We needed early wickets, which is why we opened the bowling with Shoaib. If we had around 220 on the board, we might have tried Naved-ul-Hasan.
His take on the finals
Both teams are playing well, but England will be the favourites.
On Pakistan's decision to bowl first
I was surprised with Inzamam's decision. With the way the pitch has been playing over the last couple of weeks, I would have thought that bowling first was the right strategy. The wicket did a bit early on, but then settled down and became better for batting later in the day. By batting first, Inzamam played right into our hands.
On West Indies' performance today
We were outstanding in all departments of the game. Often in the past, we have batted well and then bowled badly, or let ourselves down in the field. Today we excelled in all areas. Dwayne Bravo was outstanding with the ball. The way he came back after going for a few in his early overs showed lots of maturity.
On his initial reaction when Lara was felled by Shoaib
The way he fell down I thought he had broken something. But then he got up and wanted to continue. Since he was still feeling dizzy we decided that he should go in for treatment. But he is OK now and will be fit for the finals.
His take on the finals
It is a great opportunity for us to build on today's performance. We played well in the NatWest Series and hopefully we can continue along those lines. We haven't won anything in recent times and we are hungry to do well. England have been playing well too over the past year and will be just as keen to finish on a high, so it will be a tough match.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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