South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Port Elizabeth November 28, 2013

'A really big achievement' - Misbah

ESPNcricinfo staff

Misbah-ul-Haq has hailed Pakistan's maiden ODI series win against South Africa as a "really big achievement". Pakistan also became the first subcontinent team to win a series in South Africa when they edged the hosts by one run in Port Elizabeth to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead with one game remaining.

"It is a really, really big achievement for us, especially for this young team," Misbah said. "They are going to start believing that they can perform well. I think that is what we were lacking in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and lost few games which we should have won. It is a good comeback for the confidence of the team. In the future we can come with better confidence, and winning a first bilateral one-day series in South Africa means something to us."

Misbah praised Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan for bringing Pakistan back after AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla had taken South Africa to a winning position. The hosts needed 36 off 38 deliveries with six wickets in hand after de Villiers fell to Junaid for 74 off 45. It came down to 11 off the last two overs, but Ajmal gave away only two in the penultimate over and also dismissed Amla for 98. Junaid then delivered a series of yorkers in the last over to seal the win for Pakistan.

"I was saying to everybody that take it to the last over," Misbah said. "I know that for the batting side, no matter how many wickets you have, how good a situation you are in, the last over is always a bit of pressure. That is what we were thinking, and when we got nine runs in the last over, the way Junaid Khan was bowling, we had hope. Both Saeed Ajmal and Junaid did really well and were well supported by the field.

"It wasn't looking like we were in a better position. They were playing really well. But again, when the match comes close, I think it is the batting side which gets under pressure some times. That is what we were thinking, that if we can bowl one good over, and if in the last over, it is more than a run a ball, you never know with two new batsmen at the crease, anything could happen. And that is what happened. Both Ajmal and Junaid held their nerve and bowled according to the field. Junaid executed yorkers really well."

The turnaround began when de Villiers was dismissed. The South Africa captain said he should have stayed on to finish the game. "I had the game in my hands with Hash out there," de Villiers said. "I have finished a lot of games like that before. I was on a bit of a roll there and probably (should have) just breathed a little and looked at the situation again. Hash tried to calm me down a bit there. Unfortunately just lost track of where we were going."

South Africa built their chase steadily, preferring to keep wickets in hand for the latter stage of the innings. De Villiers said that was the plan. "A lot of people would have raised eyebrows after the first 10-15, even 20 overs, watching us bat out there. That is exactly what we wanted. We knew with wickets in hand, with a dangerous middle order, we will always be in the game.

"We went for 20-30 too many bowing first. We knew we had to pull it back somewhere. It was always going to be the last 15 overs, with the Powerplay, with wickets in hand. We timed it to perfection. Just unfortunately we lost too many wickets in the last ten overs."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nishant on December 4, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    Really well done.... No body hoped for this result with this batting line up but they have done it and I hope India will also do the same....

  • Masood on December 1, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    Well done Pakistan, now to try for that ultimate thing - consistency. I still believe Pakistan can be the best team in the World, if only they can prevent those performances where they are the worst team in the World. Consistently capable of results like this and better, I feel its temperament that lets Pakistan down more than talent. A good Sports Psychologist is what I recommend. Convince every player he is the best in the World and he will play as if he is.

  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    @P4K1STAN......India just won the CT2013 in England, where Pak could not win even a single match and India did not loose a single match, even the warm up games, then they won the tri-series in WI against SL, they also went in Zim and won all matches, check Pak performance in Zim before commenting......LOL

  • Neo on November 30, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    @CricIndia208, become a gentleman and get a life................... such hatred is not meant for sports, reserve it for your newspaper article columns. First let your team come out of cocoon shell then we shall see what it has got in it.

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2013, 20:01 GMT

    Pakistan further needs to improve his batting strength , best ODI side of Pakistan should consist of these 15 players , Openers Ahmed Shehzad & Umer Akmal , Younus Khan , Sohaib Maqsood , Misbah , Asad Shafiq / Shoaib Malik , Shahid Afridi , Bilawal Bhatti , Junaid Khan , Saeed Ajmal , Irfan / Anwer Ali.

    We can't ignore Younus Khan becaust at this stage he is the best available player to take singles and doubles , also performing well with youngsters.

  • usman on November 29, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    The crux and focal point - the real test is the Test Series where Pakistan drew level 1-1 - that's an even more brilliant achievement. how many teams can draw level with Saffies in the full version of the game?

  • Muhammad on November 29, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    @LionsofLanka: Don't you remember 2011 Sri Lanka tour of UAE, where Pakistan won all three formats. 1-0 in tests, 4-1in ODIs and 1-0 in t20s. Get ready for a similar or worse drubbing this time too.

    Btw who lost against New Zealand C team and snatched second match forcefully due to bad light excuse. It was a good tactic to avoid whitewash. But Pakistan won't let you do that.

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    Fist Subcontinent Team to win the series in South Africa.. Well that is an honour now...

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    It's time to inject more new blood Sami ASLAM , Sharjeel Khan, Raha Has an, Hammad Azam, Etc I really feel pak under 19 cricket team is very good and some players are better than Haffez, Umer Amin, Nasir Jamshed , Asad shafique. .can't understand why Abdul Rehman and Sohail Tanvir doing with the team..Pick youngster so they can get experience of international level...Plz don't waste talent like Await zia, Karmran Gulam , Fawad Alam, Zia ul Haq, Sami ASLAM is in prime form of his career ..Anwar Ali has to work on his swing .He has to be swing bowler not a pace bowler...Bilawal only needs experience to become a Top fast bowler and if given continue run ...All the best Bat Maksood #3 and Umer Akmal at #4 for at least 10 matchs than see the difference in pak batting attitude...All the best Team pak go for CLEAN SWEEP.

  • Abdul on November 29, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    @Lanka Lion : it happend in Cricket in 2nd test pitch is not helping for bowler either spinner as well as, If you said how South African bowled out our team so all know our batting not performing well. We mostly win matches by our bowling i hope you got the answer. and your second question answer is same batting problem we put 6 wicket down and no one score 8 runs again i said its happend in cricket e.g. why south africa lost match when 7 wicket in hand and only 11 run required only in two over why Hashim Amla not run easily on Saeed Ajmal when he play on 98 a world class player why why why ? i hope you got answers.

    Abdul Basit

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