Misbah-ul-Haq feels that the Dubai Test match could have had a different result provided they got spin-friendly pitches © AFP
Dubai: Jan 12, 2014
Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq lamented at the fact of not getting spin-friendly wickets to play against Sri Lanka, after a crushing defeat in the Dubai Test.
Pakistan lost the game by nine wickets and allowed Sri Lanka to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series, with the first Test ending in a draw.
The main reason for Pakistan’s defeat was the poor form of Saeed Ajmal, who could only muster a total of five wickets over the two Test matches.
Ajmal, who could not get a single wicket in his 49 overs, during the second innings of the first Test, had surprisingly taken 18 wickets in Pakistan’s win over Sri Lanka at the same venue in 2011.
“Obviously, we are not getting support as per our strength (of spinners) and that is a worry for us,” said Misbah, who was disappointed with the pitches used in the series.
“Obviously, groundsmen are preparing pitches but as far as satisfaction, it’s not there because we have not given instructions of such flat tracks,” added Misbah.
“Maybe the groundsmen want to make (our) kind of pitch but they are not able to do that. It is surprising that there was no break here on the pitch, not even on the fifth day and it’s surprising,” said Misbah.
Pakistan who lost the toss were shot out for a meagre 165 in their first-innings on a seamer-friendly pitch.
Sri Lanka, who earned a huge 223-run lead, had veteran batsman Mahela Jayawardene scoring 129.
Though Misbah’s team battled well to score 359 in their second essay, still Sri Lanka had no issues in hunting down the paltry 137-run target to record a nine-wicket win, one of their biggest in 45 Tests against Pakistan.
“Once we lost the crucial toss, as there was lot of moisture on the pitch, we could not really get back in the Test match,” said Misbah, who scored a fine 97 in the second innings.
“I think the batsmen should have applied themselves more.You could see that there was some seam but still we played some indisciplined shots and that put us in trouble,” said Misbah, who blamed the batsmen for the loss.
Sri Lankan skipper, Angelo Mathews, who was pleased with the win, admitted that the pitch was helpful for the batting side.
“Apart from the first day, this was a regular Dubai wicket. The spinners weren’t that successful on this wicket, it became a bit slow, but still good for the batsmen, as usual,” said Mathews.
Mathews had earlier slammed an unbeaten 157 in the first Test between the two sides.
“That’s what cricket is about. You need to keep fighting. I thought we did exactly that in the first Test. This is a wonderful victory with the help of the whole team,” said Mathews.
Mathews also maintained that Pakistan were a dangerous team despite the loss and was full of praise for Jayawardene, who was aptly named as the Man-of-the-match.
“He made a huge impact and we all hope that he’ll get better and better and I am sure he’ll play the next match as well,” said Mathews of Jayawardene, who played with stitches on his left hand.
“The Pakistan team is a very good one and against this team, you have to play positive cricket because if you give them even a little opportunity they will trample all over us. We played well throughout and won the difficult moments,” added Mathews.
If Pakistan do not win the third Test in Sharjah, then they would go on to lose their first ever series in the United Arab Emirates.