Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Dubai November 11, 2011

Afridi proved he's a matchwinner - Misbah

ESPNcricinfo staff

Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has said Shahid Afridi proved he was a matchwinner in his first ODI since coming out of a conditional international retirement. Afridi took 3 for 27 in 9.3 overs in Dubai, helping bowl Sri Lanka out for 130 and set up an easy Pakistan victory.

"Shahid Afridi is a matchwinner and he proved that today," Misbah said. "He came on when we needed wickets and also needed to keep the runs down. He bowled a wicket-to-wicket line, didn't give away runs and also made key breakthroughs. He's started his comeback well and I hope he continues to perform."

Afridi's wickets came after Pakistan's seamers had got a couple of early breakthroughs. Misbah said it had been the constant pressure his bowlers asserted that had been Sri Lanka's undoing. "The pitch played well and was the same across both innings. Credit goes to our bowlers. We pressurised them right from the start by being disciplined with the ball. The seamers were disciplined early and then the spinners came on and did really well."

Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, said it was once again poor shot selection that was behind the batting failure. Sri Lanka's batsmen had struggled in the Test series too, getting dismissed for first-innings totals of 197 in Abu Dhabi and 239 in Dubai. Dilshan said it had nothing to do with any technical faults but was down to making bad choices.

"Our mistake again was shot selection," Dilshan said. "It's not the technique of the batsmen because they are all getting starts but throwing it away with poor shots. There were one or two good balls today, the rest were all bad shots. We knew this was not a 250-280 pitch but felt that with four seamers we could defend something around 220-230. But 130 was obviously too low."

Dilshan had chosen to bat, as he had in the Test at the same venue. There was a little help for Pakistan's seamers early but Dilshan said it wasn't the pitch that got Sri Lanka's batsmen out. The next ODI is also in Dubai, on November 14, and Dilshan said if the game was played on the same pitch he would not hesitate to bat first again.

"The track was not bad. If we are playing on the same track in the next match I think batting first will still be the right option."

Dilshan also said Mahela Jayawardene was a doubt for the next game as he had hurt his knee. He said Jayawardene would have a scan on Saturday after which the team would take a call on whether he would be fit for the second ODI.

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  • dummy4fb on November 14, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    Afridi deserve Man of the Match as his performance is more stronger then other bowler, he gave the Breakthrough of Patnership which's building up with Jayawerdana.

    We have proud on Afridi that he's 3rd Pakistani Player who received huge Number of Man of Match Award like 25 now he's following Saeed Anwer who's on 28 and on the Top is Sachin with 61 and InshAllah he will break this records and as he's holding Fatest Century, Most Sixes and Highest wicket as all rounder records and he's great acid for Pakistan as an Captain and Player and agree he's not consistant like Responsible this is the Mistake of PCB Coach in Past who dont polish but still he's playing for Pakistan and get the winning cup for us.

    InshAllah he will bring 2015 World Cup in Pakistan like he did in T20 Cup and remember he's the one who give this Happiness to Pakistan.

    We should remember Good thing of our Team why we always point out their Mistake this is the reason Whole Pakistan in Crisis.

  • dummy4fb on November 14, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    @USApakcricfollower, all that is needed is stability etc etc? man you just spelled disaster for the team right there :)

  • dummy4fb on November 13, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    Test Team::::>>>>> 1>Hafeez 2>Taufeeq Umar 3>Azhar 4>Younis 5> Yusuf 6>Misbah 7>Adnan Akmal (wk) 8>Gul 9>Ajmal 10>Junaid 11>Wahab Riaz/ Abdur Rehman / Tanvir Ahmed / Aizaz Cheema.......

    ODI Team::::::>>> 1>Hafeez 2>Asad Shafiq 3>Younis Khan 4>Umar Akmal 5>Misbah 6>Abdur Razzaq 7>Shahid Afridi 8>Sarfarz (wk) 9>Gul 10>Ajmal 11>Junaid/Aizaz......

    T20 Team::::::>>>> 1>Hafeez 2>Imran Nazir 3>Umar Akmal(wk) 4>Shahid Afridi 5>Misbah 6>Shoib Malik 7>Abdur Razzaq 8>Hammad Azam 9>Gul 10>Ajmal 11>Junaid......

  • dummy4fb on November 13, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    Pakistan should get Azhar Mahmood back in the team he has been forgotten by the PCB it has been a long time since he last played for Pakistan and he only has about 2 years of cricket left In him and he should play for Pakistan in all formats and with the ICC T20 World Cup 2012 coming up next year he would be a great choice and would add great all round strength for Pakistan with Afridi and Razzaq.

  • USAPakCricFollower on November 12, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    I don't get it. Why was Afridi the Man of the Match? There is too much hype about Afridi and his performance does not corroborate. He took 3 wickets, 2 of which were tail enders, and he was not the most economical either. Other bowlers took more important wickets and were more economical. I guess they had to give it to a bowler as the bowling won the match, so they gave it to him. To me the choice is questionable and has more to do with creating hype to fill seats.

  • USAPakCricFollower on November 12, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    Pakistan is getting back to what the talent is capable of. All that is needed is stability, lack of distractions, and a well balanced captain. I wonder where all those Indian fans are that were predicting doom for Pakistan before the Sri Lanka series stating this is not Ireland and Zimbabwe that Pakistan is now playing? Oh, and just a year ago they were calling for Pakistan's ouster from ICC. I can only guess their disappointment now.

  • dummy4fb on November 12, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    after a long find some stabiltily in pak team

  • Saqib_Sheraz on November 12, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    don't forget to praise S Ajmal, who also played a vital role.

  • dummy4fb on November 12, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    @prbath, whose crying? us or the team that was 131 all out ;)

  • AlanHarrison on November 12, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    Nothing very surprising here. Afridi showed during the world cup what a good ODI bowler he is, notwithstanding his inconsistencies in other disciplines of the game, and is now showing it again. Meanwhile Sri Lanka are really struggling without Murali, but the real cause for concern about that lies in test cricket, not ODIs. According to my calculations that's 13 test matches now against proper opposition home and away without a win for Sri Lanka since he retired. Sri Lanka will always produce talented players, but statistics about Sri Lankan test history all the way back to 1982 show just how reliant they have been on Murali's presence and wickets to win test matches.

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