Bad shot selection led to Pakistan's loss: Misbah-ul-Haq
Adelaide, March 20 (IANS) Dejected Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq rued his team's poor shot selection after losing their World Cup quarter-final contest against Australia by six wickets at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
Several of Pakistan's batsmen were guilty of throwing their wicket away despite getting promising starts to their innings. Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat but were under pressure throughout their innings and folded up for 213 in 49.5 overs with none of their batsmen hitting a half-century.
Left-hander Haris Sohail contributed 41, the highest by any Pakistani batsman.
Skipper Misbah (34) along with Haris Sohail put on a 73-run third-wicket partnership, but Misbah perished trying to hit off-spinner Glenn Maxwell out of the park and was caught in the deep.
Thereafter, the likes of Shahid Afridi (23) and Umar Akmal (20) fell owing to poor shot selections that dented Pakistan's cause. In reply, the four-time world champions chased down the total in 33.5 overs, winning by six wickets.
"I think at one stage 270-280 was pretty much on, but we just kept losing wickets and some bad shot selection cost us," Misbah said at the post-match presentation ceremony on Friday.
Misbah, however, lauded the efforts of pacer Wahab Riaz, who bowled brilliantly to create a flutter during Australia's run chase. He picked up two wickets giving away 54 runs from nine overs and was a constant threat to the Australian batsmen.
Misbah also attributed the loss to dropped catches saying that if all-rounder Shane Watson's catch had been taken at deep fine-leg by Rahat Ali in the 16th over, it could have given Pakistan a great opportunity.
Watson was dropped on 4 and went on to shape Australia's win with a responsible knock of 64 not out. Maxwell (44 not out) was also dropped once.
"He (Wahab Riaz) really bowled his heart out. He was totally a different sort of bowler throughout this tournament. And today the kind of spell he bowled, I have never seen a bowler bowling like that. If that catch (of Shane Watson) was taken, it could have been totally a different story. I am really happy with the way he bowled today," he said.
"We really need to improve our batting if we want to do well in the future. But I think overall, the team really did well in this tournament," concluded Misbah.