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Pakistan aim for series win against England: Woolmer
by AFP


Ground:Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan
Scorecard:Pakistan v England
Player:Inzamam-ul-Haq, MP Vaughan, Danish Kaneria, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami
Event:England in Pakistan 2005/06

DateLine: 17th November 2005

 

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said Thursday his team would not rest on their laurels following their win in the first of three Tests against England.

 

"The Test was superb for a start. It is a great win for the team, but there is a lot of cricket left and the goal is to win the series," Woolmer told AFP after his team's 22-run win.

 

England, playing their first Test after winning the Ashes series against Australia at home in September, were bowled out for 175 while chasing a 198-run target on Wednesday.

 

Woolmer warned his team against complacency, saying England could strike back in the remaining matches.

 

"That was only one game and we need to keep our feet on the ground," he said. "England will play better. They have not done that in warm-up matches and perhaps (Michael) Vaughan will be fit for the second Test."

 

Vaughan missed the first Test here due to a knee injury.

 

The Pakistani coach praised his bowlers for scripting a sensational victory after being under pressure for a major part of the match.

 

Leg-spinners Danish Kaneria claimed four wickets on a worn fifth-day track, while pacemen Shoaib Akhtar grabbed three and Mohammad Sami two.

 

"Kaneria has a big heart and has the will to do well. He is still young and has time on his side to develop more," said Woolmer, a former England batsman who took over as Pakistan's coach last year.

 

"Akhtar bowled superbly. His attitude was fantastic and he said before the series he was due to start a new chapter in his life and I am happy," said Woolmer, 57.

 

The love-hate relationship between Akhtar and Woolmer was the talking point in the Pakistani media, with the England series being described as the last chance for the temperamental fast bowler.

 

Woolmer said the most encouraging thing was the team's ability to bounce back from the brink.

 

"We were looking down the barrel of a gun for a long time, so the fightback was good. The process, in fact, started at Mohali," he said, referring to his team's creditable draw from a losing position in India this year.

 

Woolmer conceded his team had lost the advantage of winning the toss on a good pitch after scoring only 274 in the first innings.

 

"We did lose the initiative and looked behind on all four days. England outplayed us for two-and-a-half days, but cricket is a game in which you just hang on and things change.

 

"We did that and bowled England out when they could have got 500 and that was the important session for us on the third day. I think it was the turning point," he said.

 

Woolmer was all praise for captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

 

"Inzamam was perseverance personified," he said.

 

"What Inzamam and I told the team was that it was a fifth-day pitch and things can happen on a fifth-day pitch. We knew England batsmen would make mistakes and they did."

 

Woolmer, who played 19 Tests for England in 1970s, said he did not believe the success against his former team was any different from other wins.

 

"I played for England and that was different. I am not satisfied beating England alone. I am satisfied with Pakistan beating any side they play," he said.

 

The second Test starts at Faisalabad from November 20.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)



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