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September 25, 2007
Misbah-ul-Haq has returned to Pakistan after the last-over loss to India in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 without having any regrets over the shot that led to his dismissal and Pakistan's loss.
India started the last over as firm favourites with 13 needed off the final over. However, a wide and a straight six off Joginder Sharma tilted the balance strongly in Pakistan's favour. Misbah, however, was caught at short fine-leg trying a paddle scoop off a ball pitched outside the off stump.
"Losing a final to India is hard to accept," Misbah told PTI on arrival in Karachi. "After a match in retrospect a lot of things are said. But I have no regrets over attempting that shot. It just didn't come off for me.
"To be honest it was a premeditated shot. I had made up my mind to play the paddle shot. I had tried the shot many times in the tournament and it got me valuable runs. I was trying to get the ball over fine leg to the boundary.
"Unfortunately, it was a slower ball from Sharma and the ball just didn't go as fast off the bat as it should have gone and it ended into a catch. It was a heart breaking moment for me and the team. The final was gone."
Misbah was disappointed at having brought his team close to beating arch-rivals India on two occasions but failing to succeed on delivering the killer blow on either.
"It is disappointing but this is cricket," he said. "You can't have a good day all the time. But I am happy with my performance in the tournament. In fact the whole team performed beautifully; we just lost to India. Hopefully in the coming days we will put things right. But our performance in the tournament has put us in a confident and positive state of mind for our series against South Africa and India."
Misbah, who was preferred over Mohammad Yousuf for the ICC World Twenty20, looks all set to make a Test comeback for the home series against South Africa. This will be Pakistan's first Test series after Inzamam-ul-Haq's retirement from Tests and with Yousuf's reported commitments with the Indian Cricket League (ICL), the selectors may well decide to include Misbah to strengthen the middle order.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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