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Hafeez lavishes praise on Pak bowlers

Colombo, October 2, 2012, DHNS: 1:35 IST
Having handed Australia their first defeat of the tournament, Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez said he was confident of putting up such performance against their mighty opponents here on Tuesday.

After posting 149/5, Pakistan struck back with their five-pronged spin attack to restrict Australia to 117/7 to score a 32-run win and enhance their semifinal chances. “It’s a great effort by the bowlers,” said Hafeez lauding his slower bowlers. “To be honest, we wanted the total we got today. I think the spinners did a great job. We knew that it was turning and it was difficult to get runs against the spinners and that’s the reason I have been bringing them on all the time. We have got some of the best spinners in the world -- Saeed Ajmal, Shahidi Afridi -- and the inclusion of Raza Hasan has been really good for us,” he remarked.

Hafeez pointed out that the 2-1 win in a Twenty20 series against Australia in Dubai just before the World T20, had given Pakistan the confidence going into their final Super Eights clash.

“We had a long discussion two days back and that victory in Dubai had obviously given us a lot of confidence. We were aware that nearly 70 per cent of Australia’s runs were scored by Shane Watson, David Warner and Michael Hussey in this tournament and if we get them out early, we were in with a big chance.” Australian captain George Bailey got philosophical and attributed the defeat to the ‘law of averages’. “If you look, all teams have had that one bad game and I guess it happened to us. There is no embarrassment in getting through to the semifinals by scoring more than 112. Yes it is no secret that there are a few shortcomings while playing spin but we have done reasonably well against them (Pakistan spinners) in our recent games,” the right-hander said.

Bailey also didn’t agree that Australia relied too much on Watson. “I don’t really think so.

Maybe the answer could be yes if he fails in the next match and we fail as well. But we are as much dependent on him as we are on any other member of the team. Given the kind of player that he is, we often end up winning whenever he performs though.”

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