Joyous Pakistan skipper praises his ‘Boom Boom day' players

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Old 22-Nov-2011
Joyous Pakistan skipper praises his ‘Boom Boom day' players

UNP ImageSharjah: Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has proved to be a leader with the Midas touch.

He has lifted the sagging image of Pakistan cricket by getting the best out of his players.

He was in a joyous mood after his team's one-day series win over Sri Lanka at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday night.

"Today it was Boom Boom day," he said, showering praise on former captain Shahid Afridi, who hit a quick-fire 75 and bagged five wickets.

"Afridi performed excellently. The situation that we were in at one stage looked impossible to score 200 runs.

"The way Afridi played was fantastic. Not only did he increase the run rate but also played with a great sense of responsibility. In the bowling department too when they were short of just 50 runs from victory he came and took five wickets. It was indeed a tremendous performance."

That Misbah is not afraid to heap praise on his colleagues, especially the senior men, has helped him get them to play for him.

Team effort

It is something which has been missing in Pakistan cricket and Misbah has used it to lift the confidence of his players.

"This series win is purely due to team effort," he said. "Every individual has played their roles very well and it was a collective effort. This trend is a good sign for the team."

Misbah never hesitates to seek the advice of his seniors. He was seen in discussion with Afridi when the Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene partnership was developing on Sunday.

"We discussed the different options on how to proceed with Sri Lanka's two experienced batsmen," he said. "I wanted a breakthrough and he [Afridi] gave the breakthrough and we never looked back."

Afridi expressed his appreciation for the captain after the game.

"The way Misbah is leading the team is very great," he said. "He has given me all the support and it has helped me in my comeback."

Misbah, 37, believes his personal form is also an important part of the jigsaw.

"Though team performance is very important I am concerned about my personal form too," he said.

"[In the] last two matches I got run out and hence could do nothing about it. If I can get among the runs too it will be a nice feeling."

Though delighted with the series win, Misbah is focused on analysing the batting slump which saw his team reeling at 97 for six at one stage in Sharjah.

"We should have scored about 250 to 260 runs," he said. "We lost wickets under pressure and we have to improve here.

"If my batsmen just stayed at the wickets taking the singles, a total of 250 runs was manageable."

Though the final one-day match of the series in Abu Dhabi is a dead rubber, Misbah will be taking it seriously.

A 4-1 series win can push his team above England in the ICC world rankings.

It will be a huge boost for his team, who face England in the UAE in January.

Old 22-Nov-2011
Saini Sa'aB
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