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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, 5:49 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, 6:32 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, 3:20 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 6, 2011, 23:35 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, 16:15 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, 10:13 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, 7:10 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, 6:40 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, 4:38 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, 3:06 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!!!

Posted by   on (April 6, 2011, 0:29 GMT)

Well done, Wahab. A bit like how the night before Michael Slater's first Test hundred, 152 against England in second Test of the 1993 Ashes, he had a dream where he played every shot of the next day's innings in his head.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

WC-2011-We are the Champions After-thoughts: How thankful are we that Wahab had only 3 sleepless nights. Wonder how many wickets he would have taken if he had 5 sleepless nights ;)

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

this was the first time vn indian batters faced riaz.that was surprize for them,but in next meet he will definately thump by all.indian batters had great heart.they always gifted 4 5 wikets to every fast bowlers.as they did for umar gul,kreza,olonga n shoaibbut on next meet they shows that who are they.best f luk for next meet wahab.

Posted by ultrasnow on (April 5, 2011, 16:48 GMT)

Article does not mention whether he slept during the day LOL. I'm Indian and cannot fathom how Pakistan seems to comes up with a steady supply of fast bowlers. Even their spin bowling talent is special. Good luck next time cricket's most entertaining unpredictables

Posted by arsalan.rehan on (April 5, 2011, 16:31 GMT)

Well done Wahab. You are the only member of semi final squad who justifies selection.

Posted by wideball on (April 5, 2011, 15:35 GMT)

there is no shortage of talents in Pakistan ,the only thing pak cricket need is unity among the players and professionalism after Imran Khan Pakistan cricket is in absolutely mess grouping between the players corruption and cricket board being run by the peoples whom know nothing about cricket, but thanks to ICC Pakistan cricket is on right track if they keep playing the way they played in world cup i believe no one can stop them going on top the semifinal against India is the prime example they Pakistan team were very close to victory the young side show a lot of character . Waqar and Aqib should allow to continue their good work

Posted by BoomBoom_Khan on (April 5, 2011, 15:30 GMT)

Riaz is a very decent bowler and could become an alrounder. We need one when Razzaq will exit and when the next 4 years bring back Amir, introduce Junaid khan and lead by Gul it will be hard to get a spot for a bowler of Riaz's class (he is fast but he is not express fast/Shoaib Akhtar). So he should work hard like Imran Khan used to work hard when he wanted to become the world's best alrounder. I personally like wahab but given the Pakistan's pace factory strength and habbit of producing fast bowlers out of nowhere, wahab should really work hard. I wish him best of luck and another 1000 wickets in both tests and ODIs. (t20 is a joke/no quality so don't even bother that)

Posted by bnghosh50 on (April 5, 2011, 14:41 GMT)

i am an indian fan but amk really impressed the way riaz bowled in the match against india.......it was truely an amazing spell of fast bowling......also wonder how pakistan produced so many great fast bowler although their batters are not that good tochasea competitive total.......

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (April 5, 2011, 14:30 GMT)

This guy bowled well. He can be proud of that. Too bad his team lost to a very good side. Hard luck Wahab. Looking forward to seeing you in the West Indies.

Posted by aa61761 on (April 5, 2011, 14:12 GMT)

Sounds more like Tandulkar of 2003 when Tandulkar spent 3 sleepless nights thinking of how to play Shoaib. May be it's a new strategy that if you want to be successful you need to go sleepless for 3 nights.

Posted by reena.s on (April 5, 2011, 14:06 GMT)

riaz a very bright cricketing path ahead .

Posted by ummy on (April 5, 2011, 14:05 GMT)

I thought Pakistan deserved to win the world cup especially after that unfortunate Tendulkar lbw decision. Anyway next world cup is in Australia and new zealand, the place where Pakistan won it. Maybe it will be Pakistan destiny in 2015.

Posted by Hassan.Farooqi on (April 5, 2011, 13:29 GMT)

Yes it is a team game, and Afridi made it look like a team. Something Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Yousuf, Younis Khan, Salman Buitt, and even Misbah failed to .

Posted by vparisa on (April 5, 2011, 13:21 GMT)

Amazing bowler and he is no mug with bat either, i saw him hitting some big shots during ODI series against SA. If nurtured well, i dont think Pakistan will miss the services of Aamer. I cannot fathom how Pakistan comes up with such terrific bowlers.

Posted by jammuthejatt on (April 5, 2011, 12:44 GMT)

I hope we get to play you again in near future and we'll make sure you never go to bed again.

Posted by vicky786usa on (April 5, 2011, 12:42 GMT)

G8. So it was decided well ahead that Sohaib Aktar is not playing Final. Sad....

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 10:23 GMT)

What's the use of spending three sleepless nights ? They still lost! :D

Posted by Ramchevuru on (April 5, 2011, 10:06 GMT)

After the match every body gives somany staments about that..., i planned like that, like this... I don't have sleep for planning to take the wickets. Beofr eht match Gul also given staements as i am concentrating on top batsmans.., he did not even get single wicket in the same.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 9:54 GMT)

Good to see that someone has adopted the same method used by Sir Richard Hadlee back when he was bowling hed do the same thing for every single match. Hopefully Riaz can obtain greater success from this method

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 9:43 GMT)

well done performance riaz, keep itr up, u again raised the proud of pak pace family

Posted by Amjad.Amu on (April 5, 2011, 9:41 GMT)

You guys were superb in this world Cup except in the semi final. Cricket is a game where either team has to win or has to lose, India win. There are many young guns in the Pakistan team, Insha allah you guys will show miracolous performance in the upcoming World cup. Ameen :)

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 9:32 GMT)

WELL GENTLEMEN U MAY HAVE PLANED YOUR STRATEGY TO BOWL TO THE INDIAN BATSMEN ,BUT U FORGOT THAT OUR,S IS A STRONG FORTRESS BATTING LINE UP IN THE WORLD

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