Last ten overs made the difference - Misbah
Misbah-ul-Haq has said that the latter stage of both innings was the difference between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the second ODI. Sri Lanka were 194 for 6 in the 38th over before Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera put on 87 off 57 to boost the total to 310 for 9. Pakistan were 192 for 4 in the 36th over when Misbah fell for 36 and the side collapsed to be dismissed for 233.
"Till 40 overs everything was in control," Misbah said. "In the last ten overs with six wickets down, we gave away too many runs. They played really well too, they played calculated cricket. We did not get many wickets in the last ten overs which was damaging."
Pakistan needed 123 from the last 15 overs but Misbah swept Rangana Herath straight to square leg in the first over of the batting Powerplay. Misbah said he had taken a risk that did not pay off, and felt that an asking-rate of eight was achievable had Pakistan not lost so many batsmen.
"We were right on track when we were chasing. We just kept on losing wickets. In the last 15 overs even 120 was very much achievable but the key is when your set batsmen are there, if one of them goes on till the end, whether you are setting a target or chasing… but we lost too many wickets in the Powerplay.
"With four fielders outside the circle we have noticed that eight runs an over is not difficult if you have got wickets in hand. That is what we were trying to do. Even in the last 15 overs, if you require eight an over with five overs of Powerplay, that is very much achievable. But at the same time if you lose wickets, it becomes really difficult."
Misbah said his spinners Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez had done their jobs, but added that Pakistan could have done with Saeed Ajmal on the Hambantota pitch. "Shahid and Hafeez bowled well. He (Afridi) did not get wickets but he came in and performed his role and restricted runs.
"It really makes a difference especially (with) the kind of pitch this was. Saeed Ajmal always makes a difference in the Powerplays, in the last overs. It was really difficult the way it was turning today."
Ajmal had travelled to Brisbane to have his action tested and missed the first two ODIs, but Misbah said he would join the team ahead of the third and final match in Dambulla on August 30.