Younus bemoans poor start after Sri Lanka loss
by AFP

Ground:Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood
Scorecard:Pakistan v Sri Lanka
Player:Younis Khan
Event:ICC World Twenty20 2009

DateLine: 13th June 2009


Pakistan captain Younus Khan bemoaned yet another poor start at the World Twenty20 after his side lost their opening Super Eights match against Sri Lanka by 19 runs at Lord's on Friday.


Pace bowler Sohail Tanvir conceded 29 runs in his first two overs, including several no-balls and wides while Pakistan were equally slack when they batted, collapsing to 35 for three.


Younus tried to repair the damage with a well-made score of 50 before another flurry of wickets put the game beyond his side's reach.


What made this defeat worse for Pakistan was that their spinners had got them back into the game by helping restrict Sri Lanka, who had been 81 without loss, to 150 for seven.


"In every single game we've had trouble with our start," Younus told reporters. "Today was a crucial game and we had back-to-back no-balls in the first over, but Tanvir is struggling.


"We also struggled with our batting and we only had one good partnership but in a match like this you have to go all the way and not just score 20s and things like that."


Pakistan conceded 20 extras and Younus added: "We had 20 extras and we lost by 19 runs so that is crucial in this form of cricket."


Pakistan could call up all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, a replacement for the injured Yasir Arafat, for Saturday's match against New Zealand at the Oval.


But a coy Younus added: "He is here and training at the moment, but we'll decide tomorrow if he is playing or not."


Sri Lanka were given an excellent platform thanks to a typically brisk 46 from Tillekaratne Dilshan which featured the opener's now trademark scoop shot over his head for four.


"The first time I played it was two months ago in the IPL in South Africa. I have confidence now and I trust myself that I can play that shot," Dilshan said.


"I could play a paddle shot against a yorker and then if the ball is a good length, the ball can go behind the wicket-keeper."


Sri Lanka spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis put the brakes on the Pakistan innings and Dilshan said that, with those two bowlers in the side, his team were confident of defending seemingly low totals.


"We are playing very good cricket, we know with Mendis and Murali we can defend 160 against any team."


This was the first match between the Asian nations since Sri Lanka's team bus was attacked by armed militants in Lahore in March, an incident that led to the suspension of all international cricket in Pakistan.


Before Friday's match players from both sides lined up alongside one another for the respective national anthems and Younus said: "It was a good gesture actually especially after what happened in Lahore.


"Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always had a good relationship. When I was batting against Murali we were chatting with each other."

(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)


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