ICC World Twenty20: Unbelievable Umar Akmal impresses skipper Mohammad Hafeez
Umar Akmal's 94 off just 54 took Pakistan to 191 - a total that Australia failed to bring down in their ICC World Twenty20 match. Skipper Mohammad Hafeez praised the knock and called Umar Akmal a match winner.
Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez was pleased with the performance of his spinners on Sunday and was effusive in his praise for Umar Akmal for his match-winning 54-ball 94 which set up their 16-run victory over Australia in the ICC World Twenty20 here. (Scorecard | Highlights)
Put into bat, Umar blasted a breathtaking 94 laced with nine boundaries and four sixes to power Pakistan to 191 for five in their stipulated 20 overs.
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell then conjured up hopes of a successful run-chase for Australia as he smashed a devastating 33-ball 74 but Pakistani spinners brought their team back into the game with some good bowling.
"There was moment in the match when Maxwell was batting brilliantly and at that stage the only thing I could tell my bowlers was just go there and keep attacking and I think they did a good job, especially spinners, like Zulfiqar Babar. Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi did really well," said Hafeez after the match.
"The strength of Pakistan is we have too many match winners and anybody can win the match for us and today Umar Akmal showed a great talent. We always wanted him to express himself. He held his nerve very well. He attacked and that's what we wanted our boys to do. He has got great talent and he was simply unbelievable today," he added.
Australian captain, George Bailey also praised Pakistan spinners and was disappointed with his fielders.
"The start we had, 40 for 2 after seven overs, I'd have taken that. You just try and play your best bowlers and Pakistan's spinners bowled very very well and also Umar Gul in the death," he said.
"Batting and bowling go either way, but fielding was in our hands and we've set high standards and we didn't do well today. This is probably from our point of view the most disappointing aspect of our game today," he said.
Umar Akmal, adjudged Man of the Match, said he played his natural game and dedicated the award to his brother Kamran.
"I want to thank the management because they gave me a free hand. I played as positive as I could. They've trusted me to play at No.4 and I too prefer this position. I just played my natural game. I would like to continue building more innings," said Umar, who blasted nine boundaries and four sixes in his 70-ball innings.
"I would like to dedicate the award to my brother Kamran Akmal who is making a comeback in the team in the world cup," he added.