Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Pallekele June 8, 2012

A good toss to lose - Misbah

ESPNcricinfo staff

Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has said losing the toss worked to his team's advantage during its win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Pallekele. Mahela Jayawardene chose to bat but Pakistan's bowlers put in a fine performance to restrict the hosts to 135 for 8 in a rain-affected game.

"It was a difficult decision for any captain about what to do," Misbah said at the post-match presentation ceremony. "It was a good toss to lose. There was a lot of moisture in the wicket and covers were on."

Pakistan's seamers led the way, with Umar Gul nipping out the first three wickets - he ultimately won the Man-of-the-Match award - and Mohammad Sami providing excellent support in an economical spell during which he picked up three for 19 in six overs. Mohammad Hafeez was also miserly with his off-spin, taking 2 for 20 in 10 overs. "We have got world-class spinners and whenever the fast bowlers get the conditions [they need], they come good."

Pakistan reached their target with almost eight overs to spare, but lost two wickets early. Hafeez and Misbah steadied the innings with a 51-run stand before Umar Akmal made an unbeaten 36, steering his team home. "The conditions were really difficult for batting," Misbah said, "but the way Hafeez and Umar batted, it was really handy.

"We have to improve in these conditions - it's a windy and open ground. It's difficult to judge, so we have to work hard."

Jayawardene said a score of around 190 to 200 would have proved competitive. "It was important we put up a decent score," he said. "But credit to Pakistan, they came strongly at us. We faced two new balls in Australia as well, but they have got a quality attack and we need to make sure we are careful."

The second ODI, on Saturday, will also take place in Pallekele.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jawwad on June 8, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    Yeah the conditions were pretty tough for the batsmen but the one guy I expected to do well was really Younis? He should know by now how to be the all weather man. I really think he should make way for Asad Shafiq keeping 2015 WC in mind and play only Test.

  • Zee on June 8, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    @ Mr. Merchant. Fully agree with your comments. Misbah is an immense asset to the Pak team. He plays a big role in pretty much all the wins. Without his captaincy and calming influence we would not have won half the matches we did in the past 2 years. Those asking for Afridi have no clue how cricket is played and won on a consistent basis, something Afridi never achieved and Misbah has. Misbah should also play a role in grooming the next captain for whenever he retires (hopefully not soon).

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    I think Misbah captainship brought the decipline in the side.He is calm and calculated.He take his decesions with mind and not by heart.While batting he is always confident.He build his inning and advise the other batsman to follow his style.We as a cricket lovers and our so called experts to realize the importance of this approch.Instead of criticizing his tacties the should help him with good suggestions.Yesterday Mohshin gave him advice to rotate the strike while you are not getting boundries.Pakistan are winning ODI and test since last 2 years. So please for God sake stop backing Afridi for captain.He is very emotional and let him concentrate on his batting the way he played in second T20. I belive most of our experts give their openions base on likes and dislikes, provincialism and favouritism.They try to impose their openion on others. this create grouping in team.Our emotional cricket lovers should also leave the habit of four and sixes.Match are not won by emotion but planning.

  • Sayed on June 8, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    great win......Go Pakistan Go...............

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    boring n one sided series!! hope that the tests r entertainin n competitive!!

  • Owais on June 8, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    Sri Lankan batting relying heavily on Dilshan, Sanga and Mahela. Others have to step up. Pakistani batting as brittle as ever, without Misbah and to some extent Younus, this batting lineup does not seem to have any spine. Hafeez and Umar Akmal are under-achievers so far and I dont see this changing much in the coming months.

  • Tahir on June 8, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    Some excellent bowling performances on this tour already, more to follow. Batsmen from both sides need to find a way to score runs on these tracks...

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2012, 8:59 GMT




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  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    this whole series will be rain affected

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    under rated hero!!! I am admire of his batting skills...

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