Jagran Post

Akram flays pitch for SL-Pak semifinal

Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has lashed out at the authorities for preparing a unsporting track for the ICC World Twenty20 semifinal between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo.

Wasim, who is in Colombo as a commentator and expert, described the pitch on which Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 16 runs on Thursday night in a low scoring game as "impossible pitch to bat on".

"I should say that this pitch certainly was not in the spirit of the game. It was an impossible pitch to bat on and I am surprised they had such a surface for such a big match," Akram said.

The former left-arm pacer said the dry and turning pitch was a test for the batsmen and he always knew that even chasing 140 on it would be a challenging job for any side.

"On this pitch 140 was like chasing 180. I don't know how you can have such a pitch for such a big match, it was disappointing," he said.

The former skipper also pointed out that the pitch was not meant for T20 cricket.

Wasim said that before the men's semifinal the women's semifinal was already been played on the pitch, which was already assisting the bowlers.

"When Pakistan batted 60 overs had been bowled on it. This is not acceptable for such a big match," Wasim, who has taken 414 Test and 502 one-day wickets, said.

The former pacer added that the "poor surface robbed the spectators of entertainment".

"He (Asad) is your most composed and technically sound player and he should have been in the team in this tournament where pitches were such that one had to bat sensibly instead of trying big hits all the time," Sohail said.

Pakistan's former captain Zaheer Abbas said Hafeez had taken some bad decisions, one of them being to leave out Razzaq and not try Kamran Akmal as an opener.

"The batsmen didn't play according to the situation and pitch conditions. I thought 140 was gettable in the match but the application was missing and Hafeez got out at a very crucial time he should have finished off the game," Zaheer said.

Zaheer said the Pakistan Cricket Board needs to think ahead what it wants to do for future tours and tournaments. Another former captain Rashid Latif said as usual the team had performed inconsistently just when it was close to the final.

"They could have got to 140 on this pitch but the management needed to take some bold decisions which they didn't take. In contrast Sri Lanka used their batsmen very well and rotated them well."

Former Test batsman Basit Ali had no doubt that Shahid Afridi now needed to retire and focus on playing foreign T20 leagues.

"I think he should retire now because he was a big disappointment in the tournament. Hafeez also made a blunder by insisting on opening the innings throughout the tournament. He spoilt the momentum of the team."

Pakistan's former Test player and coach Mohsin Khan said it was disappointing that Pakistan lost a match it should have won after restricting Sri Lanka to 140 runs.

"I felt there was lack of understanding between the captain and management and players and if it is true that Hafeez unilaterally insisted on playing Sohail Tanvir on Thursday than he should be questioned and so should the management," he said.

(Agencies)

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