England defeat one of Paks worst hidings, says Waqar

Published: Sunday, February 23, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Cape Town (South Africa): After another sound thrashing in the World Cup, Pakistan skipper Waqar Younis groped for excuses but admitted it was one of the "worst" defeats for his team ever. "Getting them (England) out for under 250 was a good effort by the bowlers but unfortunately the batsmen again couldn't capitalise," a dejected Waqar said after his team's 112-run defeat at the hands of England in its World Cup Group 'B' match on Sunday. "...You can say it was one of the worst defeats we've had," Waqar said but drew solace from the fact that Pakistan had come back from the brink in 1992 after losing three World Cup matches to lift the trophy.

"It's not over yet," he said trying to sound optimistic. Pakistan was drubbed by 82 runs in its opening World Cup match by defending champion Australia. A jubilant England skipper Nasser Hussain said the team's homework had done the trick against the Pakistanis, who are a "huge threat in One-day cricket", while praising man-of-the- match James Anderson. "We knew Youhana shuffled across his wickets. That's what I mean about James (Anderson). I'd forgotten myself because I was trying to set the field for the new batter and he just ran up and bowled the perfect ball. All credit to the coach as well.

He'd done his homework and the plans worked." But Hussain said his team wouldn't get carried away with the victory. "We've only beaten Pakistan. We've only won one game. We haven't won the World Cup yet. I think it was a very good bowling performance after some average ones in the last few months. It was an exceptional performance. "This was the first major team we've played at the World Cup. Pakistan is a huge threat in One-day cricket. On a given day it can beat anyone. To win so convincingly it was a huge win for us," Hussain said.

Hussain said Anderson, who took four for 29 in his 10 overs, deserved special praise. "He's bowled very well. In his short career he's gone from the Burnley 3rd 11 to regular man-of-the-match awards. "The most impressive thing I seen from mid-off (is that) we've had meetings and at times we've had meetings for the sake of meetings (but) he's listened to what the coach had to say and put it in to practice. He's bowling well and thinking well. But he still has a lot of work to do and I think he knows that." Waqar Younis believed his side was capable of getting the victory target of 247 but Anderson spoiled their party. "I thought looking at the pitch 240-odd was an easily gettable target but their bowlers bowled very well, especially Anderson.

I thought he bowled extremely well. "The ball probably started swinging a little more than normal. We played here last year against South Africa and the ball didn't do anything but tonight the ball just amazingly swung." Younis said he felt probably winning the toss gave England the edge in the match. "The game starts after the toss. Maybe winning the toss gave England the edge but we defended well. Getting them out for under 250 was a good effort by the bowlers but unfortunately the batsmen again couldn't capitalise." The fast bowler, however, said there was nothing wrong with the composition of the side. "We don't have much choice.

The 15 we have are the best. We're all playing reasonably well. Yousuf (Youhana) got 40-odd in the last game, Younis (Khan) is playing well. Inzy is probably one of the best batsmen but he's probably lacking a little bit of form but hopefully he will get back. You can say it was one of the worst defeats we've had."

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