Cricket World Cup 2011

Afridi feared 2007 repeat

2011-03-04 07:05
Pakistan pull a win out of the fire. (AFP)





Colombo - Captain Shahid Afridi has admitted that the 2007 World Cup disaster against Ireland weighed heavy on his mind when Canada gave his team a major fright, saying it served as a good wake-up call for Pakistan.

BLOG: Nude Girls, Graeme Smith, and a lotta talking

Pakistan, bowled out for a paltry 184, were indebted to Afridi's one-man show, as his leg-breaks earned figures of 5-23 and helped his team avoid the kind of upset they suffered against Ireland in the Caribbean four years ago.

In the end Pakistan pulled off a 46-run win on Thursday, their third in as many matches, to give the 1992 champions six points and top position in Group A, ahead of Sri Lanka and defending champions Australia.

"Yes, that match in 2007 was on my mind," said Afridi, of Pakistan's infamous three-wicket defeat to Ireland in Jamaica, which led to his team's first round exit from the last World Cup.

"I know what would have happened had we lost against Canada," said Afridi, of the possible backlash from the millions of fans back home.

"But I told the players we must play for a win, that we should not be negative and work hard irrespective of the result."

Afridi blamed poor batting for Pakistan's difficulties.

"I think there was poor shot selection and very poor batting," said Afridi of Pakistan's innings which was wrapped up in 43 overs.

"If we want to play good cricket against quality teams then we must improve this and wake up."

Afridi said the third pitch employed at the R. Premadasa stadium was difficult to bat on.

"I think the condition of the pitch was such that we needed to bat with patience, but we didn't do that," said the captain of Pakistan's batting, in which only Umar Akmal (48) and Misbah-ul-Haq (37) showed resistance.

"It was a totally different pitch from the match we played against Sri Lanka. There were clouds overhead and the ball was stopping and moving."

Afridi explained his plan to put the brakes on the Canadian innings worked well after Jimmy Hansra (43) and Zubin Surkar (27) took Canada to 104-3.

"Their number three and five batted sensibly," said Afridi of the fourth wicket partnership of 60. "My plan was to bowl maiden overs so that the asking rate climbed and that worked."

Afridi, who is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 14, said he was enjoying his bowling.

"I am doing my level best for the team and it is turning well for me," he said.

Pakistan next face New Zealand at Pallekele on March 8.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
 

Live scoring

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cricket World Cup 2011

The day Aussies went 'soft'?

2011-04-01 07:37

Newly appointed Michael Clarke seems to represent a seismic change to Australian cricket captaincy characteristics. Read More

 
 
Vote

Who would you like to see named as the next Proteas' coach?

 
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.