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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pakistan's poor start followed by extra practice

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis admitted his team started its tour of New Zealand "badly" after they lost to Auckland by five wickets in a Twenty20 friendly yesterday.
Hard on the heels of their scandalous tour of England, Pakistan could muster only 91 in their first bat of the tour, a target Auckland gobbled up in 13.2 overs.
Younis put on a brave face when he fronted the press while his players filtered out of their dressing room on to Colin Maiden Park for extra practice.
"I'm not going to moan about it," he said. "We have done badly. The match had a county cricket feel to it [given the setting].
"We are keen to do well in the internationals [as opposed to warmup games]. But we need to improve."
That much is obvious before Pakistan play New Zealand in the first of three Twenty20 internationals at Eden Park on Boxing Day.
If Pakistan didn't run up the white flag, they came dangerously close to doing so.
One of the few bright lights was the form of veteran paceman Shoaib Akhtar, who looked sharp at the bowling crease.
The 35-year-old quick clean-bowled former Black Cap Lou Vincent, who said: "I faced him a few years ago and he was definitely quicker then but he is still fast and I think he was holding back a bit today too. He will be a handful for the Kiwi boys."
Even though Auckland made hard work of their run chase – Martin Guptill top-scored with an unbeaten 28 off 30 deliveries – and accepting the fact abbreviated cricket does create one-sided matches, this was an extremely tame performance by Pakistan.
Vincent predicted it would be a long tour for the visitors. "Pakistan will improve, but they will need to."
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