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World Cup 2011

Three sleepless nights before semi-final - Riaz

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 5, 2011

Comments: 32 | Text size: A | A

Wahab Riaz is ecstatic after knocking over MS Dhoni, India v Pakistan, 2nd semi-final, World Cup 2011, Mohali, March 30, 2011
'I planned how and where to bowl to each [India] batsman' - Wahab Riaz © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Wahab Riaz
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: Pakistan

Wahab Riaz, who picked up his maiden ODI five-for in the World Cup semi-final against India, had spent three sleepless nights ahead of the clash planning his strategy for India's batsmen. Though admittedly disappointed that the performance had come in a losing cause, the extensive preparation, he said, is what helped him deliver in the high-pressure match.

"I had three sleepless nights ahead of the semi-final," Riaz told the Express Tribune. "I planned how and where to bowl to each batsman. The planning, and the confidence the team management showed in me, was crucial to my success in that all-important game.

"There was a lot of disappointment when we lost to India. It was sad to fall just short of making it to the final," he said. "We failed to build partnerships in that match. I believe a couple of significant partnerships could have made the difference and given us the win."

Riaz, who claimed a five-for on Test debut against England last August made Pakistan's World Cup squad after bans were handed out to fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir for spot fixing. He made it to the playing XI on the back of Pakistan's bowling attack being ripped apart during a late assault by New Zealand's Ross Taylor in a group match in Pallekele on March 8.

Riaz said the team spirit displayed by Pakistan during the World Cup was key to their good performance. "We were a side that no one took seriously before the tournament but we still reached the last-four, as we were united and supported each other. I firmly believe cricket is a team game and once every player in the side pulls his weight, the winning graph goes up. We should now look ahead, rather than keep focussing on the [semi-final] defeat. Constantly lamenting the loss will only be detrimental for us."

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 32 
Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 6:49 GMT)

@ Windia1234, your being bias. Though tendulkar played well, Wahab raiz should have been awarded the man of the match because he took 5 wickets against such strong batting line up. Tendulkar should have been sitting in the pavilion when he was in his 20s.

Posted by Windia1234 on (April 7, 2011, 7:32 GMT)

@wc1992 Well, Wahab did take 5 wkts but he also conceded 46 runs. If only he had conceded 30 fewer runs, Pakistan would have won. Sachin Tendulkar showed grit and determination in his 85 and was deservedly the man of the match.

Posted by wc1992 on (April 7, 2011, 4:20 GMT)

and man of the match was tenduljer for what ... only a indain can or icc (same thing )can explain this ....remember it called man of the match ... before you start saying he made 85

Posted by Guduji71 on (April 7, 2011, 0:35 GMT)

This shows how serious he was. Just imagine had he slept well all those nights how destructive he could have been to Indians.

Posted by Windia1234 on (April 6, 2011, 17:15 GMT)

Now the cat is out of the bag. It was the Pakistani players(and not Dhoni & CO) who were having sleepless nights before the Indo-Pak semi-final and Imran Khan was asking Indians to have sleeping pills.....Gr8. If Wahab had taken his sleep at night properly, he would have bowled even better.

Posted by YIqbal on (April 6, 2011, 11:13 GMT)

Well done Wahab, he has proved his selection worthy . I believe Pakistan had the best of chance to beat India in many years, every thing was suited them they bowled really well but fielders didn't help the bowlers.

Posted by Bhupal_Pandey on (April 6, 2011, 8:10 GMT)

Wahab Riaz should seriously contemplate relocating to India. He can be a permanent fixture in all tests and ODIs for this low-on-quality Indian side. And besides, he stands to earn millions in endorsements after good performances.

Posted by DJ-BLue on (April 6, 2011, 7:40 GMT)

Pakistan should try Anwer Ali now, he has been doing best in the domestic and is known as daddy of swing.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2011, 5:38 GMT)

i wish i was the slector i show how 2 pick the squad i personaly go boy scouting for talent plus no weak links should be in team

Posted by asif_aziz_khan on (April 6, 2011, 4:06 GMT)

Riaz did well to get five wickets in a pressure game, he bowled deliveries at a very serious 150 KM/H pace which may be threatening for the batsmen who face them in future. best of luck to him to WI tour!!!

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