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May 19, 2010
Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain, has said he is satisfied with his team's overall performance in the World Twenty20 but admitted the shock defeat against Australia in the semis, after having dominated the bulk of the game, hurt them more than a loss in the final, had they qualified, would have done.
"I was not expecting that we will perform so good against South Africa and Australia especially after we dropped too many catches against England and lost narrowly (by one run) to New Zealand," Afridi told reporters upon arrival in Karachi. "So I think overall I am quite satisfied with the team's performance and importantly we played as a unit.
"Had I won that match (against Australia) and lost the final I would not have been disappointed."
Michael Hussey's late assault stunned Pakistan, as he smashed 60 off 24 balls, including three sixes and a four in the final over off Saeed Ajmal to seal victory with a ball to spare. "The situation was not looking like we were going to lose," Afridi said. "We had our two best bowlers bowling the last two overs, but I must say the Australians played very well."
Afridi defended Ajmal, and said his performance at the death against South Africa in Pakistan's previous game prompted the decision to let him bowl the final over. "It was a big match for Ajmal, he was under pressure," Afridi said. "(But) he also bowled the 20th over against South Africa and moreover he was also bowling from his favourite end against Australia."
Pakistan play Australia again in England in a 'home series' in a couple of months, and Ajmal, then, will have another opportunity of facing off against Hussey. "I hope I will have another go at him when we meet in two months' time," Ajmal said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the day from the fourth ODI between Australia and South Africa at the MCG