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Lawson confident of Pakistan routing India tomorrow

Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson says his team would now look to extend its 12-match unbeaten run by routing arch-rivals India by a bigger margin in the second cricket one-dayer of the ongoing tri-series in Dhaka.
By R Eswar | PTI, Dhaka
UPDATED ON JUN 09, 2008 03:41 PM IST

After crushing Bangladesh by 70 runs, Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson says his team would now look to extend its 12-match unbeaten run by routing arch-rivals India by a bigger margin in the second cricket one-dayer of the ongoing tri-series in Dhaka on Tuesday.

An elated Lawson said Pakistan, who beat Bangladesh last night in the tri-series opener, just had to play their natural game without allowing the pressure of the contest to get to their nerves.

"We do not want to treat the match as a must win one and put ourselves under pressure. We want to play our own game," Lawson said about the match, a win in which would assure Pakistan a place in the finals.

On what the team's strategy would be against India, obviously a stronger opponent than Bangladesh, the Australian said it was not meant to be discussed in the media.

"I would prefer to discuss strategies against India with my player rather than telling the media. I would like to score a 150-run win over India on Tuesday," he said.

On last night's victory, Lawson said he was particularly pleased with an out-of-form Shahid Afridi's all-round effort. Afridi scored 20 runs off 17 balls and picked up three wickets in his eight over conceding a mere 19 runs.

"He is obviously an experienced player. Every team has its own targets and they do have their strategies against rival teams," he said.

Lawson was also all praise for his bowlers and said the team won because of a coordinated effort. "We analysed our matches against Bangladesh so far in the recent past and decided on our strategies to success. Our batsmen, particularly the top order and the bowlers did a fantastic job. It was a total coordinated effort," Lawson said.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons and captain Mohammad Ashraful spelt out different reasons for the team's defeat.

While Siddons felt the loss was a result of poor bowling, Ashraful said it was the batsmen who failed to do their job.

"It is not easy for any chasing team to get at the target of 240 runs in a 40-over match. But, our bowlers disappointed me today and then the top order batsmen failed to stick to their job. It is also important to build one or two good partnership to win games such as this," said Siddons.

Ashraful, however, said had the batting clicked, the team had every chance of chasing down the stiff target. "Our bowling and fielding was good today as compared to our batting. I wish we were good in batting too and this would have helped us in the end. A team need to be good in all departments of the game," he pointed out.

"We were coasting to our target but during the third power play, Afridi came on to bowl and he spun the ball well and was successful. He changed the complexion of the game and put Pakistan on top," he added.

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