Relieved Afridi orders batsmen to shape up

Published Mar 03, 2011 06:03pm

Afridi celebrates the wicket of Baidwan with his team mates.—AP

COLOMBO: Victorious captain Shahid Afridi said he would address Pakistan's batting woes in a bid to avoid a repeat performance of a poor display against Canada that saw them dismissed for just 184.

Despite the under-par showing, Pakistan bowled Canada out for 138, winning the Group A clash by 46 runs on Thursday to record their third win out of three at the World Cup.

Afridi, who won the man-of-the-match award for his five-wicket haul, said he stood by his decision to bat first, blaming poor shot selection, adding that he and coach Waqar Younis would speak to the players to prevent a repeat.

“We're not going to repeat this batting performance again,” said the charismatic skipper, who has now taken 14 wickets in total at the World Cup.

“I think sometimes we need some partnerships and that's what we were missing, that's what the coach is saying.”

But Afridi said he was happy with his bowlers, adding: “I think the bowlers are doing very well and we are very confident, feeling good.”

Batsman Younis Khan, who was dismissed for just six runs, praised Afridi for his performance.

“Shahid has bowled fantastically, and the rest of the guys as well,” he said.

“In the last three games he took wickets regularly and when we need him he's taken wickets so I think he's fantastic at the moment,” he added.

Disappointed Canada skipper Ashish Bagai said poor batting had cost the Canadians a chance of a famous win over a Test-playing side.

“It's a very, very disappointing loss for us. I think we did a great job with the ball, losing one of our better bowlers (Khurram Chohan pulled up with a hamstring injury). The sixth bowler stepped up and again the fielding was a great job.”

But he said: “Our batting worries continue. We had a really good chance of putting up a good performance and we disappointed ourselves.”

And he added that although his team had shown battling qualities, they needed to translate that into victories.

“Fighting is one thing but getting over the line is obviously taking it to another level. We had a good chance today to show everybody what we've put in over the last few years and we fell short.

“Our batting has been a bit of a worry for us over the last two weeks. I might get in some new faces over the next three games, try to give them a go and rectify it that way.”

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