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Mirpur: Apr 2, 2014
Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan captain, has said that his team has to collectively share the responsibility for the defeat to West Indies that saw their ouster from the ICC World T20 2014. In a crunch game in Group 2 of the Super 10s, Pakistan were beaten by 84 runs by the West Indies. From having the West Indies under control at 107 for five after 17 overs, they let them off the hook. In reply, Pakistan were bowled out for 82.
At the post match press conference, when asked about the possibility of resigning due to the defeat, Hafeez said, “After a defeat, many times, there are indications towards that. You have to remember that a team doesn’t win because of one individual or loses because of him. We all are responsible for not playing well today. As a captain, I apologise to all the Pakistan fans. We didn’t play according to the expectations.”
This is the first time Pakistan won’t be a part of the World T20 semi-finals. Speaking about the defeat, Hafeez said, “We didn’t play very well. In the last four overs, we gave 71 runs. That is where West Indies played good cricket and taken the game away from us. When we started batting, we couldn’t get momentum and were playing shots that were not there.”
A pertinent fact is that Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan’s most dependable bowlers leaked runs at the death. Gul conceded 21 runs in the 18th over and Ajmal was hit for 24 in the over that followed. “In the last four overs, our bowlers did not do the basics right. Once the pressure was on them, our best bowlers Gul and Saeed Ajmal didn’t do the basics right and cost too many runs at the end. We thought 120 would be a good total, but Sammy and Bravo played really well,” Hafeez said.
In this tournament, Hafeez too has failed to get going at the crucial No 3 spot. During the defeat to West Indies, he ambled along to 19, which was a very slow innings. About his own performance, Hafeez said, “For the last one and a half years, I have been doing this for the team, playing at No 3 because the management wanted me to. Unfortunately, in this tournament, I couldn’t get the runs I wanted to.”
For this tournament, Pakistan had called up Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal, men who haven’t been a part of their one-day side for some time. However, that move did not work and the two players fell short of expectations. Hafeez though praised Akmal for his clean wicketkeeping during the tournament.
“They [Akmal and Malik] will also feel hurt. The selectors picked them for this tournament, but they couldn’t fulfill those expectations. They are good players, and have played good cricket for Pakistan. Yes, you are right when you say that they haven’t played well in this tournament. But a positive sign for Kamran [Akmal] was his keeping. He kept well, an area which was a question mark for him,” Hafeez said.
Ahmed Shehzad had scored a ton in the previous game against Bangladesh and had duly “dedicated” his ton to all the critics. But then, he was dismissed off the first ball on Tuesday. When asked about Shehzad’s comments, Hafeez said, “He has said it, so he will be able to answer it better. Critics always speak for you good and I believe you have to take it positively. Ahmed Shehzad has had good performances in this tournament.
This is the game of cricket. You can get out on that one ball or play it well. We should support him as he is a good talent for Pakistan. Scoring a ton or getting a duck keeps happening in cricket,” Hafeez said.
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