Mirpur: Pakistan survived a massive scare against minnows UAE and captain Shahid Afridi believes his team will need to minimise mistakes if they are to have any chance of beating the bigger teams in Asia Cup 2016 Twenty20 tournament. (Malik, Umar Akmal Guide Pakistan to Seven-Wicket Win)
“Today’s game showed that you just can’t relax in this format, you can’t relax in the dressing room. We are making some mistakes and you can’t afford that against the bigger teams,” said Afridi.
Opting to bat, UAE managed to score 129 for six, despite a top-order collapse which saw them tottering at 12 for three after just four overs.
Shaiman Anwar was the top-scorer with 46 off 42 balls that was studded with five boundaries and two sixes. Skipper Amjad Javed also threw his bat around to contribute a valuable unbeaten 27 off 18 balls with three fours and two sixes.
Pakistan were in deep trouble after losing three early wickets, giving UAE the unlikely hope of a win.
However, an unbroken 114-run stand for the fourth wicket between Shoaib Malik (63 no) and Umar Akmal (50 no) sealed the match for Afridi’s men, who chased down the target in 18.4 overs for a seven-wicket win.
“I told my batsmen just play normal cricket, don’t go for big runs. We thought after we took three wickets, we would get them out for 90-100 but they played well and some shots went off for them ..(off the edges). They played well in the end. We would have liked to have a match like this before playing India,” added Afridi.
Man of the Match Shoaib Malik, who bailed his team out of trouble alongside Umar Akmal, said conditions for batting were tough.
“Tough conditions, we all know the first six overs has been crucial, if you survive then you can play shots and that is what we did. We lost early wickets but then we decided to forget about the run rate and focus on playing out the first six overs. We bowled well in the first six overs but then we were a bit all over the place,” said Malik.
UAE captain Amjad Javed said the game was a good learning experience for his side.
“We wanted about 120 but we got 10 runs extra, we knew it would be difficult to chase, we got some early wickets but we could not capitalise on that. We are still learning, Malik and Akmal took the game away from us. The team is really doing well, I did my best to contribute and try and bring the game back, and make Pakistan work hard. Our coach Aaqib Javed was sure we could give them a fight if we scored 100,” said