Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain, has criticised his batsmen and himself, following Pakistan's 0-2 defeat in the Twenty20 series against South Africa in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan only managed 119 and 120 in their two innings, scores that were overhauled with little difficulty by South Africa. Afridi made 25 and 3 while the others, with the exception of Misbah-ul-Haq who is making a comeback in international cricket, struggled.
"Our batting was a major let down. None of them did well," Afridi said after the second game, which South Africa won by six wickets. "My performance was crucial for the team and I also failed to deliver.
"But I am sure we can do far better in the ODIs, since I believe that we have players who have good temperament and can play the 50 overs comfortably."
There were encouraging signs in the bowling department, with the spinners proving economical. Mohammad Hafeez and Afridi conceded just 32 runs between them in eight overs in the second game while offspinner Saeed Ajmal conceded 18 in his four-over spell in the first. "Our bowlers really bowled well. The conditions suited the batsmen, but despite that, our bowlers stuck to a good line and bowled brilliantly," Afridi said.
Pakistan cricket, in the aftermath of the spot-fixing controversy, is going through troubled times and Afridi admitted there was pressure on players. "Yes the players are under pressure, but we have to put that aside and concentrate and keep ourselves focused," he said.
Johan Botha, South Africa's Twenty20 captain, was hoping the team would continue its winning run in the ODI series that begins on Friday. "Pakistan is a very good team and they can bounce back in the ODIs. We will keep the momentum going and ensure that we keep working hard and try to win as many as matches possible."