AUS v WI (1)
WI-W v NZ-W (1)
Legends League (1)
Asia Cup (1)
IND v SA (1)
Irani Trophy (1)
Rex Clementine Fernando
Pakistan A coach, Mudassar Nasser, declared that some of the players in the A team squad are ready to move up to the Pakistani senior side after their five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the Third 'Test' Match at the Galle International Stadium today, which also means that Pakistan win the three-match series one-nil.
Three Pakistani players stood out: Hasan Raza, who made two centuries and a half-century in the series and was the highest run scorer with 321 runs at 65.2; Irfan Fazil, who wrecked the Sri Lankan first innings by claiming six wickets for 38 runs; and Danish Kaneria, who took 21 wickets with his leg spin.
"Irfan Fazil is my pick of the tournament," said Mudassar afterwards. "It's because of his six wicket haul that we won this game. He puts in lot of effort has a lot of potential.
"Mushtaq Ahmed has not played that many matches in the recent tour of England. New Zealand, are coming to Pakistan shortly and we need a few spin bowlers to tackle them. I think Kaneria will give a good fight to Mushtaq," said Mudassar.
Speaking about the captain of the side, Hasan Raza, who made a match-winning century, Mudassar remarked: "Hasan is one of the best players of spin bowling in Pakistan. The New Zealand series is going to be dominated by the spinners and I'll push for his inclusion."
Mudassar, at the beginning of the tour, remarked that more than winning, he'll be happy if he can handover a few players to the national selectors at the end of the tour. He has not only achieved his goal but also has won the series.
Mudassar's counterpart, Hemantha Devapriya, speaking on the performance of his players, remarked that the selectors are in hunt for a few players to fill in middle order positions in the senior side.
"The selectors are looking forward for some middle order batsmen," he said. "That's the reason they gave every player a chance. But none of the players, with the exception of Gunawardene and Vandort, lived up our expectations."
He pointed the finger at the batsmen for losing this match: "The batsmen didn't score enough runs. It happened in the first innings, but the bowlers did well to restrict Pakistan and give them a second chance, but then they failed again."
Devapriya, however, praised his bowlers, pointing out they had never been given a proper total to bowl to. He was particularly pleased with the off-spin of the captain: "Samaraweera was particularly impressive; he bowled tightly and got wickets as well. He has worked hard on his technique during the past year and he is a much better bowler."
The Sri Lankan coach admitted that the gulf in standard between A team and domestic cricket was a problem: "We have to improve the standard of our domestic matches and we have to do it quickly. In this level, when the bowlers put the pressure and when the run making gets a bit hard, the batsmen play rash strokes and get out. We have to do something about it. The players don't come across this kind of pressure in domestic cricket, so they are exposed to something they are alien to."