Millennium Post

Wahab pushed us really hard: Clarke

Wahab pushed us really hard: Clarke
Australia saw through one of the fierce fast bowling spells by Wahab Riaz to set up a cricket World Cup semifinal clash against India but the home team skipper Michael Clarke said his players will have to bat much better against the defending champions. India and Australia will fight it out for a place in the title clash on March 26 in Sydney.

“They are in good form. MS Dhoni is leading them well. We look forward to another really tough contest. We’ll have to bat a lot better, specially the top-four” Clarke said when asked about his thoughts on the semifinal, following their six wicket win over Pakistan here. While answering how will they mentally prepare for the semifinal, Clarke said, “It’s no different to another game playing for Australia. I have spoken about not putting the World Cup on a pedestal, so preparation as always.

Every time you play for Australia, you want do your best.” The Australian captain said it was “a really close game in the end”. “The bowlers did a fantastic job, our fielding was excellent, but Wahab came out and really put us under pressure, one of the fastest spells I’ve seen in a long time,” he said.

Clarke praised Shane Watson (64*) and Steven Smith (65) for successfully seeing off a crisis situation when they lost three wickets with not many runs on board. “Watson toughed it out, Smith looked fantastic. Had  they caught Watto at fine leg it could have been a lot tighter, credit to sticking in there.  Wahab pushed us really hard,” he said.

Misbah rues batting failure in WC
Pak captain Misbah-ul-Haq blamed batting failure for his team’s ouster from the World Cup following a six-wicket defeat against Australia in the quarter-final in Adelaide on Thursday. Pakistan were bowled out for a below-par 213 in the final over after being well set at 97-2, a trend Misbah said had prevailed throughout the World Cup.

“I think we failed as a batting unit in the whole tournament. We just lost the way in the middle overs, we were going well at one stage but after 22-23 overs we kept losing wickets and that was the trend throughout the World Cup,” said Misbah, whose dismissal after scoring 34 derailed Pakistan innings.

Australia overcame early jitters to overhaul the target for the loss of four wickets in the 34th over to earn a place in Thursday’s semifinal against defending champions India at Sydney. Australia had a lucky escape when Rahat Ali dropped a sitter from Shane Watson, on just four at the time, off a fiery Wahab Riaz with the score at 84-3. “Wahab really bowled well throughout the World Cup and he was a different bowler. He showed his class again and at one stage we were pretty much in the game and the way he was bowling that catch could have made the difference. But that is how cricket is,” Misbah said.
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