December 12, 2000

Victory an icing on the cake: Hussain

Karachi, Dec 11: Rival camptains Moin Khan and Nasser Hussain on Monday conceded that they had never been involved in a game which has gone into darkness.

"We haven't played in any dark conditions before. Five minutes later it would have been pitched black out there. But it would have been a tragedy if the game had not finished," Hussain said.

Pakistan captain Moin Khan said: "We appealed to the umpires, telling them that we cann't see it but were told to keep going. The umpires gave us a warning for slow over-rate but I think we bowled right on time as we were required to bowl 44 overs in two-and-a-half hours and we were almost on time.

"I have no complains against the umpires. They have done what is written in the law books. Probably if I had been in Nasser Hussain's place, I would also have been praying that the game continues because it was a lifetime opportunity," he said.

He added: "However, I would never like to be involved in this type of game again because it will always be a disadvantage to the team which is fielding as the fielders have absolutely no clue when the ball was coming and with what speed."

"It's the job of the umpires to decide whether to play or not. I was not worried about the slow over-rate and never worried about the opposition as to what they were doing," Hussain replied when asked if the umpires had pressed Pakistan to continued because of the home team's delaying tactics.

Moin said he never underestimated the Englishmen and repeated that he had been saying that they were hard to beat. "They deserved to win. Not many teams would have won after allowing the opposition to score 292 for three after the first day's play."

Moin blamed his batsmen for the defeat which was the first at the National Stadium in 35 tests. "We had our chances in this test but the batsmen threw away with poor stroke selection. We never batted as some of the top England batsmen did. We relied on our strength which lies in stroke-play rather than concentrating on occupying the crease and play sensibly."

Hussain, who came here in 1994 as England A captain, termed the year as a dream one for English cricket.

"After we beat the West Indies earlier this year for the first time in 31 years, victory over Pakistan has been a perfect icing on the cake to what has been a dream year of England cricket," Hussain said in a post-match press conference.

"This is one year I think everyone associated with the game would look back and be very proud of it," an emotionally charged Hussain said.

"We showed our character in this series and the major thing is to play the game positively and stay as much as possible."

Hussain said he fancied his chances when he took the field on the final morning.

"I thought we had a very good chance when we came in the morning specially after reading local papers reporting the pressure in which Pakistan were. We decided to keep the pressure on and made sure we didn'd concede too many boundaries."

Moin, however, admitted that his team was battling for survival after losing three wickets last evening. "Naturally, we had to occupy the crease for as long as possible. We had no chance of winning the Test but we even failed to delay England's turn at the crease for the second time."

Moin defended keeping away Waqar Younis and Abdur Razzaq from the attack when the light was not good. "I don't believe in negative tactics. Cricket should be played positively."

He said it was very disappointing for every member of the team to lose the Test series on their favourite ground. "But there are several lessons to be learned from the series and the most important is never to under-estimate your opponent."

Moin said a lot of thinking and soul-searching will be done before the team embarks on the tour of New Zealand in nine weeks time. "We have been losing (at home) too regularly. The team is not establishing as a winning unit and we just can't afford to play as poorly in New Zealand as we played here.