MANCHESTER: Pakistan cannot dwell on their defeat by England in the first Test at Old Trafford as it would make it tougher for them to respond in the next two matches, coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said.
England sealed an unlikely three-wicket victory on Saturday after slumping to 117-5 at one point in their pursuit of 277, as Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler shared a sixth-wicket partnership of 139 runs to turn the tide. “We are feeling frustrated, just as the fans are, after the Old Trafford Test match but this is how cricket is. There are very small margins between victory and defeat and it’s easy to curse yourself when you’ve lost,” Misbah wrote in his column on the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) website here on Monday.
“But, we should remember that we were right on top until pretty much the last session of the game and we played very good cricket. Sure, we need to improve 10 to 15 per cent and deal with pressure situations a little better but we shouldn’t be mentally down. There is disappointment, of course, but we must not keep that feeling in our minds, otherwise, it will be difficult to come back but the team believes we can fight back.
Misbah praised opener Shan Masood, who scored 156 in the first innings, as well as pacemen Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah who picked up two wickets each. “It was a brave decision to bat first against England’s bowling attack in those conditions,” the 46-year-old said. “Shan Masood batted really well and… should be given a lot of credit for his innings. He’s been working so hard… he’s changed a few things in his setup. He’s a different batsman. The bowling was also excellent. It’s a young seam attack, apart from Mohammad Abbas, and both Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah did really well.”
About the standard of bowling during the first Test, the head coach said: “The bowling of the national team was also excellent. It’s a young seam attack, apart from Mohammad Abbas, and both Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah did really well. Yasir Shah bowled well in both innings and it’s great to see him back in such good form after a period of struggle. Those are positive signs for us. We fielded well, which was another plus, and Mohammad Rizwan was outstanding behind the stumps.”