• Saturday, November 22, 2014

The best innings of my life: Umar

Sports Reporter

For much of the match there was little to separate AustralIa from Pakistan, only near the end of Australia's innings did it seem that Australia were second best. Apart from Pakistan's strong death overs bowling, the difference was that Pakistan's Umar Akmal stayed almost till the end of the innings and made sure that his side had enough runs on the board.
“It is really the best innings of my life, mainly because of the kind of pressure the team was under, after losing the first game," said Akmal at the post-match press conference. "The team management and the seniors told me to express myself, and I thank them for this message. It helped me score big, as these words made me confident. I play positively despite all the pressure."
For a majority of Australia's innings it seemed that Australia would run away with it, but Akmal said he was not worried.
“Our bowling is really good, so I never thought we would lose the game. There's no doubt that Glenn Maxwell hit very well, but our bowlers came back well,” he said.
Akmal's 54-ball 94 was helped by the fact that Brad Hogg dropped him when he was just on 22, and it was one of two dropped chances with Shahid Afridi being dropped by Brad Hodge late in the innings, while Kamran Akmal was also dropped off a no-ball. The ground fielding was also shoddy from Australia, and skipper George Bailey blamed their fielding rather than bowling for the loss.
“Not as disappointed with the bowling as the fielding. There's always things you can improve, but I think they were two for 40 after about seven, which was a really good start for us. Certainly things to improve on, but not too disappointed,” Bailey said after the match.
“It was shoddy for the standard that we set ourselves. It was something that we spoke about that we thought in this tournament could be a point of difference. It's something we've done very well in the last few games, and it just wasn't to the standard that we set ourselves,” said Bailey.
The Australia skipper was full of praise for Glenn Maxwell.
“It was outstanding. That's exactly why he's batting in that position for us. We know he's got that shot-making power. I thought it was a mature innings too; he finds the gaps at times as well. He went up and down in momentum as was required.
“I think to get ourselves into a position where we needed 70 off 60 shows a lot of promise. Two outstanding innings from [Maxwell and Finch], so that's really good for us, but absolutely, from there, you'd like to think that you can finish it off,” Bailey said.

 

Published: 12:00 am Monday, March 24, 2014

Last modified: 12:51 am Monday, March 24, 2014

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