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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

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

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