Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Dubai December 21, 2013

Misbah frustrated by bowling effort


Misbah-ul-Haq laid the blame for Pakistan's two-wicket loss in Dubai at the feet of his bowlers, although he admitted his team could perhaps have scored 15 more runs. Pakistan's 284 for 4 was the second-highest total at the stadium, but they conceded defeat with two balls to spare.

"Looking at the pitch, it was a good total and they were still needing around 50 runs, seven wickets down. We should have won that if we bowled according to the field. We lost the game in a few bad overs.

"The way the ball was coming on the pitch, it wasn't like Sharjah - it was a bit slow. And their bowlers were good at the death, bowling yorkers. That maybe prevented 10-15 runs from us at the end."

Otherwise Misbah chose to focus on the positives in Pakistan's performance. He had called for the top order to convert their starts ahead of the series, and in both matches so far, one of the top three has provided a hundred, while others in the top five have contributed significant scores. Ahmed Shehzad hit 124 in the second match.

"The biggest positive is that the batting is going well. Ahmed, again, it was a really good knock. He played a good one in South Africa and today, it was a mature one. It was good to see our top order getting big scores - that has been much needed for our team. It's normally the biggest problem for us, but I'm really happy with the way it's been going."

While conceding Pakistan's bowling and fielding was flawed, Misbah praised the efforts of Junaid Khan, whose three middle order wickets had brought Pakistan back into the match, and also said he was impressed with the run outs at the top of Sri Lanka's innings.

"Junaid is our outstanding bowler. In the last year and a half he's really improving and today he was good. But we really need to improve our death bowling. It was a problem for us.

"Our fielding was better. It brought us back into the game with the first two run outs. There were a few overthrows towards the end, but there were no lapses. Overall I think it was good."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Farooq on December 22, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Misbah frustrated with bowlers. It is flabbergasting! Whole nation is frustrated at Misbah who could not handle his wonderful bowling side. Junaid could walk into any world side and bowl opening spells, he moves ball both ways at +140, not easy to handle upfront. In fact he is not so effective in middle overs. Afridi, the match winner is as good as any leg spinner currently, he is also more potent early on, should have been before Ajmal who is a bit off color and bowls better in middle overs. I wonder why is Tanvir playing, he could not find place even in B-team anywhere. He is treated as frontline bowler by Misbah when he should be used as super-sub, we have legitimate 6 bowlers. How foten you see captains opting to open with a spinner when you a rookie who bowls close to 148 and wants to prove his worth, Bhatti. What a sight it would have been two genuine quickies bowling in tandem. Also, had Misbah kept his promise, "When batsmen play well, I dontt want to bat", score would be +300.

  • Dummy4 on December 21, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    Pakistan team is on the right way. Definitely they are missing Mohammad Irfan and Umar Gul in places of Sohail tanveer and Bilawat Bhatti other members of the team are well settled. Sharjeel and Maqsood are very good find. Junaid Khan is a fantastic bowler on any condition.

  • Dummy4 on December 21, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    Tanvir is the only weak-link in the current Pakistani line-up. MISBAH, WE DON'T WANT HIM TO PLAY!!!

    He should be replaced by either Anwar Ali or Abdur Rehman (from the current squad). We have already got rid of players like Farhat, Amin, Cheema and Riaz etc. I think its time Tanvir joins that "HE WHO MUST NOT BE PLAYED" list as well.

  • ESPN on December 21, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    I personally think Pakistan playing really well, don't forget Pakistan have some new and exciting and inexperienced players likes of Sharjeel Maqsood Bhatti and Anwar Ali, Give them few more matches then talk, we are missing Irfan and Gul, I think Pakistan av potential to lift the World Cup , I would make 1 change in the Team Anwar Ali in place of Sohail Tanveer or Haris Sohail in place of Tanveer then let Haris to bat number 3, Hafeez won't be part of WC 2015, That's my feelings. Why people blaming Misbah for slow batting, didn't you see how Kula and Malinga bowled Yorkers , We should give credit to opposition as well, Main culprit was Hafeez, who batted very slow, that's why Sohaib thrown his wicket away. He is only playing for his place but not for Team. Good luck for the up coming games.

  • Omar on December 21, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    No point in blaming bowlers - the bowling unit did what it was designed to do : Try to play Defense.

    Only 2 genuine wicket takers in the side: Junaid and Akmal; and both produced results.

    Afridi is too unpredictable to categorize :-)

    Tanvir, Bhatti and Hafeez were unable to play their defensive role and prevent the runs - might not be possible on these batting tracks anyways.

    Pakistan need to drop one of the three and pick a strike bowler for the next match: pacer or spinner would do.

  • shahid on December 21, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    First, Misbah's strike rate of 95 is not good enough when batting in the closing overs. Second, Hafeez and Ahmad, both are to slow even when they bat in power play overs, specially Hafeez needs to accelerate as now he has no pressure of not scoring runs. Sohail Tanveer needs to control his short and wide balls. Zulfiqar Baber should have been played.

  • Dummy4 on December 21, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    @ legisidewide...

    well said! Afridi is a wonderful person who always wants to face not only the furious deliveries but also the challenges without fear. No doubt, Misbah has been wasting a powerful weapon for years.

  • shahid on December 21, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    When you select your bowlers mainly on reasoning that they can bat a bit then don't complain about their lack of ability as a bowler. Sohail Tanveer has been bowling 122 kph short and wide deliveries with "hit me" written on them for 6 years now and neihter him nor the bowling coach can do anything about it. Then you select Bhatti who can't bowl a slow ball, wider yorker, a slow bouncer or any of the other balls which are a necessity in a limited over matches. Why? yes only because he can bat a bit.

  • Abdul on December 21, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Great win from Srilanka. Congratulations to Sri Lankan borthers.

    If Pakistan wants to win, it should give Tanveer and Hafeez to SL and SL will lose the next match. Hafeez made a slow hundred in the last match just because the pitch was totally dead. He is neither a good batsman nor a good bowler, I dont know what he is doing in the team. On the other hand Tanveer is new Shoaib Malik of Pakistan team. No matter how many times he cost us a match but he will remain in the team and Junaid will have to sacrifice whenever needed.

  • Dummy4 on December 21, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    and once again MISBAH BASHING is started... Grow up guys,,,,, He has achieved landmarks which no one in our history has achieved and some which no one in subcontinent has achieved. Just our fans don't find a reason behind loosing and starts to blame Misbah. Why you people forget that the opposition also comes to play and to win.....well this childish psychic needs to be changed that end of every series results should be Pakistan whitewashing the opponents. Grow up guys,,,,,,,,Inshallah Pakistan will win and Misbah love u......Keep Rocking.......

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