Malik hails Pakistan bowlers
Bowling key for captain as Pakistan reach World Twenty20 final
By Michael Wise. Last Updated: September 22, 2007 4:46pm
Finalists: Pakistan's Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq
Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has said that his side's bowlers laid the foundation for their victory over New Zealand in their World Twenty20 semi-final in Cape Town.
"It was a great win and our bowlers are bowling brilliantly at the moment"
Shoaib Malik Quotes of the week
Batting second at Newlands, Pakistan successfully chased down their target of 144 with just over an over to spare - with Malik himself hitting the winning runs in the shape of a six.
Despite such heroics, however, the skipper reserved praise for his bowlers, whose collective performance left New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori ruing his decision to bat after winning the toss.
Lou Vincent (28) and Brendon McCullum shared a stand of 50 for the first New Zealand wicket, but, after the former was caught and bowled by Fawad Alam, the wheels quickly fell off their wagon.
Never really re-establishing themselves after a rain delay, the Black Caps then suffered a collapse of sorts, with Umar Gul spearheading Pakistan's attack with figures of three for 15.
"I want to thank my team-mates for all Pakistan's people," Malik said in the immediate aftermath of victory.
"It was a great win and our bowlers are bowling brilliantly at the moment. We contained them well and then we chased.
"When the rain came I was just saying, 'This is our day. Let's have some effort, we have plans, we need to stick to them.'
"We restricted them well."
Vettori "bitterly disappointed"
Meanwhile, after seeing his side fall agonizingly short once more in a major tournament, Vettori said he was disappointed with his side's efforts at the crease.
"Despite a pretty good start with the bat, when you make 143 on a wicket like that, a pretty good one, it's hard," he said.
"It was great effort in the field but wasn't to be this time.
"We've been pretty erratic with the batting and looking back over the tournament that is what has let us down.
"We're bitterly disappointed to lose."