Waqar blames batsmen for heavy defeat against SA in T20 opener

Abu Dhabi: Following Pakistan’s six-wicket defeat against South Africa in their opening Twenty20 match in the UAE, Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis has said that his players did not perform to their potential, and that the batting was a complete letdown.

“It would have been good to win. We did not play to our potential and did not bat well either,” a newspaper quoted Waqar, as saying.

“We were another 30-35 runs short. In Twenty20 these runs can make a huge difference,” he added.

The coach, however, was upbeat about his team’s bowling in the match.

“I’m pleased with the bowling performance. They really struck in and gave the best shot,” he said, adding, “There were not enough runs on the board to defend.”

On Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi’s ‘erratic’ way of getting out at a very crucial juncture, especially as he had just lofted two consecutive sixes, Waqar said that the T20 format was “all about hitting big shots.”

“I agree that after hitting two big sixes, Afridi could have taken it easy and probably scored a single and taken his time... But that’s the way he plays and I’m sure he himself believes that he played a silly shot,” the former pace bowler said.

Disagreeing with critics that Pakistan’s batting in recent months had been a total failure, Waqar pointed out that they had won two matches against Australia in England, and had “played and batted pretty well in the one-dayers there.”

“It’s just that we did not develop a partnership in this game today. We still managed to get 119, and as I said earlier another 30-plus runs could have made the difference,” he said.

“We can make strategies and we did it for this match as well, but we really did not achieve it today,” he added.