Dambulla: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has blamed his bowlers for Pakistan's 16-run defeat to host nations Sri Lanka in the opening match of the Asia Cup.
Having reduced the host nations to 160 for loss of seven wickets at one point of time, Waqar blasted his bowlers for letting off the hosts and allowing them to post a competitive score which Pakistan eventually fell short by 16 runs despite Afridi's blistering century.
“They (Sri Lanka) were 160 for seven but we let them off the hook and gave away too many runs. That is what hurt us eventually," The Daily Times quoted Waqar, as saying.
Waqar praised skipper Shahid Afridi for his captain"s knock of 76-ball 109, but added that he should continue in the same mould for the rest of the tournament.
“Afridi batted without fear by moving down the track and dealt with (Muttiah) Muralitharan the way he should be. That is the way he bats. I have seen him do this in the past. I would like to see him continue to bat in the same fashion," he said.
Though comeback man Shoaib Akhtar picked up three wickets in the match and bowled quick, Waqar was not all that impressed with the pacer"s performance, and said that the Rawalpindi Express has lost his steam.
“But I think Akhtar is not really the Akhtar that we want him to be. He is still a long way from what we expect him to be," he said.
Despite the youngsters, particularly the two debutants Umar Amin and Shahzaib Hasan, failing to impress, Waqar said that the team is in a process of rebuilding, so the team management has decided to continue playing young players.
“We are in the rebuilding process. So we will continue to blood young players. We know that they (Shahzaib and Amin) suffered from nerves in their first game. It is tough out there, but that is how you play international cricket," he said.