Despite defeat, our reputation stays intact | india | Hindustan Times
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Despite defeat, our reputation stays intact

india Updated: Jun 20, 2009 00:31 IST

I said before the semifinal that we were not afraid of defeat but were afraid of not performing. We performed as well as Pakistan allowed us to and credit must be given where it is due.

Many people thought Shahid Afridi had perhaps become an exceptional one-day spinner capable of whacking a few boundaries at number eight. He certainly hadn't looked threatening with the bat in the tournament until Thursday.

He asked Younis Khan to promote him and he responded with a tremendous series of hits which put us under early pressure.

Very few people realise how much talent and skill it takes for a bowler like Umar Gul to bowl as many perfect yorkers in the block-hole as he does, let alone how much talent and power it takes to try and hit them for four or six! He was outstanding against us and has played a key role in Pak's journey to the final.

We fought back well with the ball and 150 was an attainable target. We had a good plan, and we remained calm at every stage. We bowled and fielded well, and then rebuilt the innings with Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy. Only the final part of the plan failed — the acceleration in the final five or six overs.

With the big hitting Albie Morkel and Mark Boucher padded up from as early as the tenth over, it was hard on JP because he backs himself in those situations. It was just a rare, bad day!