T20 World Cup: Disappointing not to get across the line, says Pak coach Kirsten

New York, June 10 After a six-run defeat to India left Pakistan on the brink of early elimination in the Men’s T20 World Cup, head coach Gary Kirsten said it is "disappointing not to get across the line" and now it's up to the players to decide how they should perform well in their remaining two Group A fixtures.

After a brilliant bowling performance, led by identical spells of 3-21 from Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf saw them bowl out India for 119 on a tricky pitch at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, Pakistan were 72/2 at the end of 12 overs, with Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman at the crease.

But with the duo being dismissed in quick succession, Pakistan were strangled under pressure by India and ended up at 113/7. The 2009 champions, are yet to get off the mark in the ongoing tournament and need to win against Canada and Ireland, as well as rely on other results to be in their favour to qualify for the Super Eight stage.

“(We) let it slip at the end. Some maybe not-so-great decision making when you’ve got the game on, it’s (at) a run-a-ball, eight wickets in hand, (it was) decision making at that point and that’s the game. I think we had the game at 76/2, with six or seven overs left at that point, so (it’s) disappointing not to get across the line from the position we got ourselves into.

“We probably gave away 10 or 15 runs at the end that we shouldn’t have. Those small, little attention to details can make a massive difference. We had that game for 35 of the 40 overs. These guys are all international players and they're aware that when they're not performing at their best that there's going to be pressure put on them.

“That's understandable, but a lot of these guys have played a lot of T20 cricket around the world over many, many years and it's really up to them to decide how they're going to take their games forward," Kirsten said in the post-match press conference.

Asked on what was the plan Pakistan had before coming out to chase, Kirsten revealed, “The message from all of us was to look for the odd boundary, try and capitalise on the loose balls and make sure that you can get as many ones as you can through the innings. I thought we did that brilliantly for 15 overs.

"We kept it at a run a ball, and then we lost wickets and then we stopped scoring ones and then we were looking for boundaries and once you've got to that point it was always going to be hard. So, the message was to do what we executed on for 15 overs," he said.

Kirsten also said if players in the Pakistan team don’t evolve with the current times, the chance of being found out will come soon. "So, if you're not up to it and you're not improving, you're going to get found out somewhere. We’ve still got a chance in the tournament. We’re still hopeful that things can play (into) our hands. We’ve got to play a lot better cricket than what we are playing."

He signed off by saying the pitch at New York, which had come under heavy scrutiny in the run-up to the highly-anticipated clash, wasn’t of much dangerous nature during Sunday’s game.

"I think it wasn't dangerous, I mean the odd one rose up, but not many. Generally it kept a little bit lower, it was difficult to score from both batting sides and also a fairly slow outfield so it was never going to be a big total. I would have said 140 would have been a really good score on that pitch, so India didn't get that and so I thought we had the game."

"We knew it was going to be tight, but you know sometimes it's fun seeing games like that as well, it's not always about sixes and hitting, getting 260 and 240's, you can actually have a really entertaining game on a 120 chase, so I don't think it's bad for the game," Kirsten concluded.

Source: IANS
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