LAHORE: Pakistan cricket captain Sarfaraz Ahmad has admitted that his team played poorly throughout the three-match T20 series against Sir Lanka and failed to come out of the pressure to perform at a required level.
Pakistan lost by 13 runs in the third and final T20 match at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday as an inexperienced Lankan side completed a 3-0 clean-sweep in their T20 series against the top-ranked T20 side.
“Our team failed in all the three departments of the game, batting, bowling and fielding and we were never able to put up a fight in any of three matches of the series,” Sarfaraz said at the post-match conference.
Pakistan were earlier handed a 64 and 35 runs loss in the first and second T20I respectively.
“It was a dismal performance on part of our team, we performed poorly, batted badly, bowled badly and dropped catches, and all these factors kept us under pressure throughout the series, which we lost,” he said.
The 32-year-old said the young Sri Lankan team deserved to win as they played good and fighting cricket.
Expressing his disappointment over the way the team performed in the series, Sarfaraz said, “We could not get a good start in all the three matches, lost early wickets, failed to chase runs and our bowlers were not effective and we showed too many lapses in the fielding which let us down.”
Sarfaraz, who seemed visibly shaken and perturbed by this shocking series loss at the hands of the second-string Lankan side, said, “We need to demonstrate a higher level of cricket if we have to retain our number tag in the T20 cricket, we need to work really hard.”
He added there was no excuse to defeat. “If you don’t perform in the middle [ground] how can you win,” he said.
On the other hand, the jubilant Lankan skipper Dusun Shanaka expressed his delight on his team’s wonderful performance of series victory.
“I feel honoured to lead this young side which produced unmatched performance throughout the T20 series,” he said.
He gave the credit for the victory to collective efforts and bonding and unity among the team players who exhibited smart cricket to outplay world number one Pakistan in series.
“It is a rare achievement by the young Lankan side to first time win a T20 series and we accomplished this task in Pakistan and this performance will be long remembered,” he said.
The Lankan captain expressed his gratitude to the lively and supporting crowd which cheered every good performance of his team.
He also thanked the government, the Pakistan army, and the Pakistan Cricket Board for holding the tour successfully.
Speaking about the game, Shanaka said though his team failed to build a good total but came up with a plan to make good and timely decisions in the field by utilising different types of bowlers, and with quality fielding, was able to restrict Pakistan from target hunting.
“It was another good game which we played and we managed a win despite some hurdles which we managed to overcome as Pakistan had a good second wicket stand but as soon it was broken we were back into the game and finally won it,” he said.
Responding to a question, he said he was looking forward to again visiting Pakistan whenever a cricket opportunity comes as it was very interesting to visit this country where people love the game.