Pakistan vs South Africa: Dav Whatmore says batsmen plotted their own downfall

Pakistan were bowled out for 99 in their first innings © AFP

Lahore: Oct 24, 2013

Frustrated Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore blamed his batsmen for bringing about their own downfall in the second and final Test against South Africa in Dubai on Wednesday.

Pakistan were shot out for 99 on the opening day on a dry but flat pitch in a match which their rivals need to win to level the two-Test series.

At the close, South Africa reached 128-3, leading by 29 runs on a day when leg-spinner Imran Tahir grabbed a career-best 5-32.

Whatmore showed his anger over the batting slump by the same unit which put on 442 in their seven-wicket win in the first Test in Abu Dhabi last week.

“It’s very frustrating,” said the 59-year-old former Australian batsman. “It wasn’t certainly according to the plan, we expected the opposition to come back strong at us, but I don’t think they did, we orchestrated most of our dismissals ourselves which was a real disappointing thing.”

Whatmore, who took over in March last year, had already seen Pakistan slump to their lowest Test score of 49 in South Africa in February.

And the coach appeared helpless to explain the latest collapse. “I am trying to get a reason for that, whether it’s complacency, whether they thought they can still continue on from 400 runs from the previous game I am not sure but certainly wasn’t a very good effort.”

So dismal was Pakistan’s top-order that they were 60 for six by lunch, leaving the number nine batsman Zulfiqar Babar to score 25 not out, the top score of the innings.

Opener Shan Masood chipped in with 21 but senior batsmen Younis Khan made only 10 and skipper Misbah-ul Haq fell for two.

Whatmore said some of the batsmen played bad shots. “I am pretty angry. You can’t spend time and get a foundation and then get out the way they did, so that’s a bit naughty, and then there weren’t enough others to actually dig in and get a start themselves.

“All of a sudden when you are 6-60 it’s very difficult to set up a decent total in the first innings,” said Whatmore, famous for guiding Sri Lanka to World Cup glory in 1996. Whatmore praised Tahir, born and brought up in Pakistan before migrating to South Africa and qualified to play for them in 2011.

“He bowled pretty well, his first wicket was lucky and then he went on from there, his confidence grew, we didn’t handle him well at all and we have to improve second time around,” said Whatmore.

“We really need to pull things up and get back into this match, we’re not out of it, no question about that,” said the coach.

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