Dubai, October 26, 2014 (PPI-OT): Captain Misbah-ul-Haq hailed their first Test victory over Australia in Dubai on Sunday as “one of the finest wins” but said his team still needs to be focused to win the series. He also credited Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman for boosting his confidence.
Pakistan beat Australia by 221 runs on the fifth and final day in a tentalising finish with just 21.5 overs remaining in the game. Australia were dismissed for 216 after left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar took 5-74 and leggie Yasir Shah finished with 4-50 to give Pakistan 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.
Misbah said the win was the second best, behind a 3-0 rout of then world number one England by Pakistan in United Arab Emirates in 2012. “It’s difficult to rank this win but it is one of the finest victories,” said Misbah after the match.
“I always rank our 3-0 win against England at the top but after that this is a big achievement. It is also a huge achievement as a captain but we will try to do this again and try to focus more and be determined. We should not be lazy against a team like Australia who always look for an opportunity,” said Misbah.
Pakistan will look to win or avoid defeat in the second Test, starting in Abu Dhabi from October 30, to seal their first series against Australia since 1994. Misbah said the win was an achievement in the context of Pakistan’s 2-0 defeat in Tests in Sri Lanka and 3-0 humiliation in the preceding One-Day series against Australia.
“Of course, a victory against any side is always important in a Test, especially against Australia and in the context that we were playing before, the last series (in Sri Lanka in August), then we lost the one-days and the Twenty20 and after not having your regular players here,” said Misbah.
Pakistan were without their ace spinner Saeed Ajmal, suspended for illegal bowling action last month and injured frontline seamers Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz. Misbah said he was especially thankful to the PCB chairman for his support.
“I must say that after the ODI defeat, the PCB chairman gave full support to me and his backing lifted my spirit so I must say thank you to him.” Misbah said it was frustrating not to get wickets in the second session when Mitchell Johnson (61) and Steven Smith (55) added 65 for the eighth wicket.
“Of course, you want to finish such games early. I was a bit worried as captain and it worries the coach also. If it goes till the end then it’s a worry for us. We missed four chances but that’s cricket and you have to forget that and you have to believe that you can do it and the boys made it possible,” said Misbah, who praised Younis Khan, the man-of-the-match.
“He is a legend,” said Misbah of Younis who made twin centuries in the Test. “He is a role model for the youngsters.” Australian captain Michael Clarke felt his team has improved against spinners since their 4-0 routing in India last year.
“Unfortunately, the result is the same as what it was in India. But I think as a team in general we’ve improved out of sight since that series, for a number of reasons,” said Clarke, who flopped in both innings with two and three.
Clarke promised his team will hit back in the second Test. “Any time we lose a game it breeds fire in your belly. We don’t like losing; Australians in general don’t like losing. “We’ve got a couple of days now to prepare as well as we can and we’ll look forward to that second Test match.
“We got outplayed and Pakistan deserves a lot of credit for the way they played over the whole five days. We know we can play a lot better and look forward to showing that in the second Test match.”
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