Being underdogs shielded us from pressure: Younis
Slow starters and a team that depends on individual brilliance more than other sides, Pakistan enjoyed the relative lack of pressure by being underdogs in the Twenty20 World Cup, said captain Younis Khan.cricket Updated: Jun 19, 2009 11:54 IST
Slow starters and a team that depends on individual brilliance more than other sides, Pakistan enjoyed the relative lack of pressure by being underdogs in the Twenty20 World Cup, said captain Younis Khan.
Pakistan were not a consistent side in the tournament winning three matches and losing two in the lead-up to their semifinal victory over South Africa, and Younis said his side did not face the pressure of a tournament favourite.
"We are slow starters in every tournament. Moreover, we did not have the pressure of a tournament favourite. I think being an underdog had helped as we did not have the pressure. The win is good for Pakistan cricket," Younis said here after his side's beat South Africa by seven runs to enter the finals of the Twenty20 World Cup.
Younis was all praise for his senior all-rounder Shahid Afridi who hit a quickfire 51 and then took two wickets to fashion their stunning victory.
"Afridi has always been a match-winner. I knew he can do it so I sent him at number three while batting. Credit for the win goes to him and to the team also," he said.
Younis felt his side was at least 15 runs short while batting but the bowling compensated for it.
"We were 15-20 runs short. I thought we would get 170 but they (South Africa) bowled really well at the death overs," he said.
Man-of-the-match Afridi said he was looking for a similar show in the final. "if I can come up with another performance like this in the final it will be good for Pakistan cricket," he said.
Asked which one was more satisfying -- scoring the half century or taking two wickets, he said, "Both batting and bowling. I am happy with whatever I can contribute for the team." A disappointed South African captain Graeme Smith refused to agree that they had choked yet again at a big match and admitted they lost to a better side.
"It was not like that (choking at big match). It was like we did not play our best on a day. We lost to a better team. Pakistan are a quality side," he said.
"It was sad and disappointing not to reach the final but we were happy with our performance in the tournament. The boys played superbly throughout the tournament and gave their 100 per cent. We had a great season and we would learn from our mistakes," Smith added.
Asked what went wrong in their run chase, he said, "We were OK till the first powerplay (six overs) but after that we could not accelerate. Pakistan bowled well really well. Shahid Afridi was brilliant with bat and ball. Good luck to Pakistan against whichever team they are playing in the final."