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ICC World T20 2014: Pakistan spinners were key against Australia, says Mohammad Hafeez

Mohammad Hafeez was pleased at the way Pakistani spinners performed against Australia © Getty Images
Mohammad Hafeez was pleased at the way Pakistani spinners performed against Australia © Getty Images

Mirpur: Mar 23, 2014

Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez was pleased with the performance of his spinners on Sunday and was effusive in his praise for Umar Akmal for his match-winning 54-ball 94 which set up their 16-run victory over Australia in the ICC World Twenty20.

Put into bat, Umar blasted a breathtaking 94 laced with nine boundaries and four sixes to power Pakistan to 191 for five in their stipulated 20 overs.

All-rounder Glenn Maxwell then conjured up hopes of a successful run-chase for Australia as he smashed a devastating 33-ball 74 but Pakistani spinners brought their team back into the game with some good bowling.

“There was moment in the match when Maxwell was batting brilliantly and at that stage the only thing I could tell my bowlers was just go there and keep attacking and I think they did a good job, especially spinners, like Zulfiqar Babar.

Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi did really well,” said Hafeez after the match.

“The strength of Pakistan is we have too many match winners and anybody can win the match for us and Umar Akmal showed a great talent. We always wanted him to express himself. He held his nerve very well. He attacked and that’s what we wanted our boys to do. He has got great talent and he was simply unbelievable,” he added.

Australian captain, George Bailey also praised Pakistan spinners and was disappointed with his fielders.

“The start we had, 40 for 2 after seven overs, I’d have taken that. You just try and play your best bowlers and Pakistan’s spinners bowled very very well and also Umar Gul in the death,” he said.

“Batting and bowling go either way, but fielding was in our hands and we’ve set high standards and we didn’t do well. This is probably from our point of view the most disappointing aspect of our game,” he said.

Umar Akmal, adjudged Man of the Match, said he played his natural game and dedicated the award to his brother Kamran.

“I want to thank the management because they gave me a free hand. I played as positive as I could. They’ve trusted me to play at No.4 and I too prefer this position. I just played my natural game. I would like to continue building more innings,” said Umar, who blasted nine boundaries and four sixes in his 70-ball innings.

“I would like to dedicate the award to my brother Kamran Akmal who is making a comeback in the team in the World cup,” he added.

ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

ICC World T20 2014 Schedule details

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Bulawayo

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

More

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014  at London

England won by an innings and 244 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 105 runs

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