Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has expressed concern at the way his side stumbled during their chases in both Twenty20s against Zimbabwe in Lahore, even though they emerged with victories in both games.
The Pakistani bowlers conceded over 170 runs twice and despite a solid chase from the top order had to crawl hard to make it. In the first match on Friday their pursuit of 173 was threatened by the loss of five quick wickets and on Sunday Pakistan won by just two wickets with two balls spares.
"We were fifth (in the rankings) and remained fifth," Waqar said after the second win. "We were expecting that we would win this but never thought of such tight matches. We might have won but without the sense of jubilation. We are a better team than this. We actually have to improve a lot and the middle order and should have to take responsibility, so I can say that it didn't delight me.
"A win is a win and I am proud of my boys but definitely there are quite a few loopholes which we have to fix, but overall if you ask honestly I am not satisfied because we are better than this and should have performed well and won it more convincingly."
Mohammad Sami, who surprisingly returned to the national side from nowhere and was making yet another comeback, wavered with his line and length and collected 3 for 36 and 1 for 38 in two games. "In Twenty20 cricket it happens and you got to understand that the Lahore pitch was always flat and it's not easy to bowl on it," Waqar said. "But indeed we gave away a lot of runs in both matches, however the good thing was that we fielded well, but if you want to challenge other teams we have to do a lot and get better in many other departments.
"Sami should be given more time and any bowler should be given ample time to get settled. I think he bowled relatively well from the previously match. One over might have gone badly but it happens in the slog overs, but overall he started well. Looking forward in Twenty20 cricket I think the role of both (Sami and Malik) important as in middle order I still feel it's tough to over-rely on youngsters."
In the end, though, Pakistan swept the series, a win that marked the return of international cricket in Pakistan after six years of isolation. "These two matches obviously carried some weight as the way the crowd came in to support us it was just outstanding," Waqar said. "It was a great response and nothing was hidden we all saw that, so has the entire world. It has cast a positive effect on the sovereignty of the country and gave out a positive message to the other countries. So I am proud of the nation, proud of the government and the crowd who came for us."
Zimbabwean allrounder Sean Williams said his team were short of runs but taking a lot of positives. "Obviously they were a much stronger side than us," he said. "I won't say I am satisfied from today's game but there are a lot of positives taken from these last two games.
"I feel we were short of runs in both innings but our fielding and discipline in the bowling haven't been good. The first game was with no extras, the second we had extras, dropped catches and in the field things were going wrong. Obviously taking catches you win matches and what happened today was that we put down three catches ... and smaller things makes a difference at the end."