New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st Test, Hamilton, 3rd day January 9, 2011

Bowlers won it for us - Misbah

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq credited his bowlers, who sparked a dramatic New Zealand collapse in the evening session to seal his team's crushing win. Abdur Rehman and Wahab Riaz began the demolition, picking up three wickets apiece, while Umar Gul came in to blast out the tail as the hosts were rolled for 110. New Zealand lost all ten wickets for 77 runs in the final session of play, bringing a premature end to a Test match that had promised a closely-fought contest at stumps on the previous day.

"We didn't feel like we were going to win today because the wicket was a bit flat and a bit slow," Misbah said. "It wasn't easy to get batsmen out here, but I think the bowlers did a fantastic job and they won the match for us today. They stuck to the job and did very well for the team."

He said the aim for the Pakistan bowlers had been to keep a good line and length and limit scoring opportunities. "The pitch is slow so it's not easy to score runs. The way I batted, I felt that it was a really tough wicket to score runs on. Batsmen get frustrated when they get stuck there and have to face a lot of deliveries without scoring many runs.

"So that was the key, to bowl in the right areas and just keep the batsmen frustrated and they are going to make mistakes."

Misbah also praised his batsmen for sticking to their plans, as they attempted to bat time and accumulate steadily. "We batted well. Our plan was to bat a bit longer and we wanted a bigger lead, because it looked like batting in the fourth innings was going to be trouble on this wicket."

Misbah put New Zealand's woeful collapse in the second innings down to inexperience and lack of patience, while affirming his side's efforts in the field. "I think that most batsmen are not used to these kinds of wickets where run-scoring is really difficult. You have to be a bit patient. As a batsman you feel under pressure when there are maiden overs and dot balls and you do make mistakes. We bowled and fielded well, and a 92-run lead would have been another thing on the batsmen's mind. I think all these things came together and we were able to get through."

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here

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