Pakistan v South Africa, 4th ODI, Dubai November 6, 2010

Waqar pleased with improved batting

ESPNcricinfo staff

Waqar Younis, the Pakistan coach, has credited his bowlers for preventing South Africa from reaching 300 in the fourth ODI in Dubai, where his batsmen held on to secure another thrilling one-wicket victory off the penultimate ball of the match.

South Africa had progressed to 156 for 2 in the 31st over when Graeme Smith was dismissed on 92. Pakistan's bowlers fought back thereafter and kept the visitors to 274. "It was hell of a game," Waqar said after his team levelled the series. "We didn't let them get on top of us. Credit to our bowlers because, at one point of time, they were on course for a 300-plus total."

Pakistan's batsmen kept up with the asking-rate for most of the chase, and though no one apart from Younis Khan made a half-century, there was no collapse either. "After the third match, we spoke about lots of things," Waqar said. "The main thing was to play the full quota of 50 overs and today the tailenders ensured that we did, and that's why we managed to pull that off. The required run-rate never went out of our reach and that was a good thing.

"Younis Khan played a wonderful innings. He made sure that the youngsters played well. He guided them and used his experience well."

Zulqarnain Haider and Wahab Riaz were two young players who played crucial cameos in Pakistan's victory. Zulqarnain remained unbeaten on 19 and hit the winning runs, while Wahab scored 18 off 10 balls in a 28-run ninth-wicket partnership that took Pakistan to the verge of victory.

"Wahab Riaz is progressing well, he can bat and he is bowling good yorkers," Waqar said. "He is young and has a good future. Zulqarnain nudged the ball well and he, along with Wahab, made sure that we play 50 overs and in the end they did a commendable job."

Graeme Smith, who returned from injury for this game, said South Africa had scored enough but that his bowlers could have bowled better. "A total of 270 is really good, considering the fact that Pakistan needed to get it remain in the series. It was tough to bat freely at all times with the ball stopping due to a lot of dew. It was a winning total and, if we had bowled and fielded to our potential, I think we could have won."

Dale Steyn and Wayne Parnell were two bowlers who also returned after injury layoffs and they were expensive. Steyn conceded 79 off 10 overs and Parnell 53 off 8.5. "I don't want to sit and put the blame on their shoulders. Obviously they will be pretty disappointed in the change room by the way they performed tonight," Smith said. "They need to push on and get back their form. Steyn is one of our front-line bowlers. It is unfortunate that Tsotsobe picked up a back strain before the match."

The series is level at 2-2 and the sides will meet in the deciding ODI in Dubai on November 8.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Farhan on November 7, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Gr8 series this, closely contested. Pak showing its bench strength. Wahab - THE NEXT BIG THING. Lethal Allrounder in the making!

  • Mars on November 7, 2010, 3:58 GMT

    Since Umar Akmal has been dropped Pakistan has finally started to win few matches...Hafeez looks impressive.

  • Syed on November 7, 2010, 3:32 GMT

    It's quite funny how soon people forget things. Have you all forgotten the australian tour earlier this year??? all the people mentioned failed! The akmal brothers FAILED, Shoaib malik divided the team, Moh. yousef only played for himself and imran nazir didn't perform with the bat. DO US A FAVOR and stop bringing the names of people who have alredy been tried. They FAILED why keep going back to fix something that doesn't need to be fixed??? Right now this team came up with the win, sure there should be some patchs in the middle but look at what razzaq said.... If you keep switching players they will only play for their spot in the team and not for the TEAM. Fawad, Asad shafiq, wahab raiz and zulq haider may play like ammatures but they have alot of fire in them and if you let them play their game they will only get better. Umer akmal has great potential but he went way over his head after one century that he forgot he was even playing for a team.

  • Huzaifa on November 7, 2010, 1:38 GMT

    i have read 1 comments and have to say they r useless. some comments even say open with u.akmal inplace of hafeez? nonsense. hafeez is mashallah a solid opener who opens the batting positively and gets pakistan in a good position to build the innings from there. fawad is a try hard and is one of the worst players i have ever seen and doesn't deserve a place in the 15 man squad. this should be da odi line up: hafeez, k.akmal, younis, yousaf, u.akmal,shafiq, afridi,razzaq,riaz, akhtar, ajmal this should be test line up: hafeez,t.umar,younis,yousaf,shafiq,misbah,u.akmal,z.haider,riaz,gul,rehman. gud luck pak n win da odi series.

  • Harry on November 7, 2010, 1:26 GMT

    Everyone advocating the inclusion of Kamran Akmal as a wicketkeeper are short sided. A good batsman will win you a match or two, while a bad wicketkeeper will lose you many. Kamran Akmal may retain his spot on the strength of his batting since Pakistan is so low on resources, but not as a wicketkeeper.

  • sunil on November 6, 2010, 22:18 GMT

    @Bukhari.. Well said Bukhari.. "We will get our own Tendulkar". Tendulkar is a regarded person and if any team wants a player they need one like tendulkar. I feel Umar Akmal has the potential to be like Tendulkar. My personal feeling is, Afridi needs to open for the next innings, He is a great player and he hits hard but currently he is hitting in the areas where the opposition have fielders, If he opens he will hit in all areas and he only need to worry about hitting in the areas where fielders are and that means only three players outside the ring. If he opens with Umar Akmal i am sure that Pak team will score between 125 - 150 in first 15 overs and a score like this in first 15 overs will be good enough to add to the total in next 35 overs. By the Way I am Indian and only hope that Pak beat RSA and SL beat OZ in the next game. Good Luck Pak...

  • Cricinfouser on November 6, 2010, 22:09 GMT

    since kamran akmal is not there the batting is weak with z. haider playing Hafeez is bowling good drop rehman or ajmal n play extra batsman 3 bowlers with hafeez, razzaq and afridi can share 20 overs

  • Babar on November 6, 2010, 21:30 GMT

    Sir Waqar Younis...After Imran Khan i see u as the only hope to bring back the Pkaistan Cricket back on top,i was,i am and will always be your top fan along with Malcom Marshall and Dennis lillie coz i am a right arm orthodox fast/meduinm bowler myself.

    ii personally feel that not because Razzaq played a awesome knock at a crucial stage where the commentators actually taunted him and fawad as if they are playin a test match while he was leaving Morkals balls just to see him off and attack langavelt,

    Make Raazaq the Captain with kind of Imran/Inzamam authority..

    we will b back on top soon.


  • Mohiz on November 6, 2010, 21:25 GMT

    Waqar Younis is pleased with the improved batting but what if they collapse the next match. Pakistan are not winning by big margins LIKE 6 wickets and 20 odd balls left, they are just scrapping to win a game. One thought for the Pakistan Management coach GET A BATTING COACH IN!!!!!! And bring in Umar Akmal for Fawad Alam because he wastes 2 much balls

  • Umer on November 6, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    Well Pakistan definitely requires the Akmal brothers back. The team is down by one batsman as Kamran is out and Zulqarnain has no batting prowess. We are missing out Umar Akmal as well. I wonder why he is not in the playing eleven. You can never have enough politics in Pakistan cricket. Akmal brothers are potential match-winners unlike Fawad Alam. On the bright side, the overall fielding has improved over time. No catches are being dropped for quite a while. Although players like Shoaib and Yousaf have considerable fielding issues due to their fitness but we have seen remarkable improvement in Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal etc.

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