Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Abu Dhabi November 23, 2011

Misbah thrilled with 'outstanding performance'


Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has termed his side's 4-1 humbling of World Cup finalists Sri Lanka in the one-day series in UAE an "outstanding performance". Pakistan have won all their bilateral ODI series this year, against New Zealand, West Indies, Ireland, Zimbabwe and now Sri Lanka.

"It good to see us beating a top-ranked side 4-1, and I congratulate my side for this," Misbah said after the victory in the fifth match in Abu Dhabi. "I am happy because the team is improving and performing so well. The goal is to improve day by day and we want to extend the victory succession. This team has now been playing together for almost a year and a half, so it is now getting good experience and developing into a good team."

In UAE, Misbah had the experience of three former captains - Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi - to fall back on, while a number of youngsters also performed creditably. Misbah was happy with the combination of youth and experience available at his disposal.

"I am really pleased to have a mixture of junior and senior players," he said. "They are understanding their roles and responsibilities, and I am very happy with the way they are fulfilling the duty. Now you can say that it's an experienced side, and I foresee a good future for my team."

The win allowed Pakistan to climb to fifth spot in the ICC rankings, their best rating in recent times as they look to shrug off the tumultuous after-effects of the spot-fixing scandal. The depth of their bowling options gave Pakistan the edge in the series, in addition to their reserve strength.

"Our bench strength and the playing XI are outstanding, and this is the main reason team is performing well," Misbah said. "It's a tough competition in the bowling department as whoever is handed a chance to play is performing. The idea is to rotate the circle and try out every one accordingly, and so far everyone is taking the opportunity well."

Misbah backed the returning allrounder Shoab Malik, who endured a torrid time in the two chances he got, making scores of 2 and 0. "Malik came in after an outstanding performance in Pakistan [at the domestic level] but he is going through tough time and this happens sometimes in your career.

"He is batting well at the nets as well but it happens that sometimes you aren't able to score runs at the top level. But he is still a good batsman and a match-winner for the team. So he still has a lot of cricket in him and just needs one innings to get back in touch."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chirath on November 27, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    top ranked team? thts wht the numbers mite say, but we r not in the top 5 at the moment, by the way we play. but give credit to pakistan, they were outstanding. but they have tougher assigments ahead uch as england. sri lanka were pathetic, and now we hear this "put the series behind us" talk. they can look to put other series behind them aswell. dont see any improvement in the foreseeable future. a gauranteed whitewash for the proteas, in tests and odis.tthey will end their drought of not winning a home test series for the last 3 years.

  • Premendra on November 27, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Good performance from Pakistan but as per current form of Sri Lankan bowling we can't assess Pakistan cricket's batting.

  • Asad on November 26, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    Was Thrilled with the performance of the whole squad throughout the series, Biggest improvement was Umar Gul, he isn't usually seen as the spearhead of the pace attack and is normally just a specialist to come in the death overs and bowl his Yorkers in the limited overs format and his spot in test cricket was always in question. With the absence of two of our most talented bowlers in recent years, he has absorbed all the pressure and has mastered the art of bowling with the new ball! Obviously the performance of the new guys Cheema and Junaid has helped. It was just amazing to watch all three of them bowl in the test matches. My only complaint would be the selection of Sohail Tanvir and Shoaib Malik in the ODIs, They are a waste of space in the playing XI.

  • Rakim on November 25, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    @ABRAR-JANJUA, Umar Akmal is not a No. 3 batsman, I like his fearless approach tho. At No. 3 you need people like Dravid or Younis Khan. Responsible people. Umar just throws it away. Maybe Pak can try Asad for No. 3 spot.

  • Manesh on November 25, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    it is just an average is mainly because of the inability of Lanka...not anything great by Pak.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    i agreed with MASQ im an nazir can give a aggressive start nd mohammed hafiznd imran nazir would be perfect pair

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    congratest to all pak players nd fans bt i wanna see this performance against england nd india umar akmal has a lot of talent he improved his ranking in odi batsman he stood on 11 rank he has a lot of talent i think he can be a great batsman like sachin tendulkar,ricky ponting,brian lara umar akmal god bless u my gud wishes r with u

  • Abrar on November 24, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    The Positive and aggressive approach made it 4-1. Pakistan did well at the end. The big plus was Akmal's batting and even in 2nd match he brought Pakistan very close to tremendous victory.That was his counter attack which put Srilanka under pressure in both 2nd and 5th ODI. He is great player of fast bowling as well as of spin. I reckon he is best option at No 3 in ODIs and T20s.

  • Dummy4 on November 24, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    @raheem030766 , why the hell you want Danish Kaneria in the team, Ajmal is much much better choice along with Hafeez, did not need any one else at the moment

  • V.L on November 24, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    This SL team is hopeless and it is surprising to see a win against them causing so much of excitement. The real test lies ahead when the Poms tour UAE. I for one would like to see England being downed by Pak. Good luck!

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