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Show more guts, says Simons

Lahore, Oct. 4 (AFP): South African coach Eric Simons on Saturday asked his side to show “more guts” to level the series after Pakistan won the first ODI at the Qaddafi Stadium.

“I think the demands of the series, in which we are playing so quickly one after the other match, are a big dog fight out there, get up and show more guts,” Simons said ahead of Sunday’s clash.

South Africa lost the first match on Friday by eight runs. “Issues like lack of preparation, demands of travelling and adjusting to conditions come into reckoning, but it was still disappointing to lose from such a position,” said Simons.

South Africa received a pre-match blow with experienced opener Herschelle Gibbs ruled out after pulling a stomach muscle. “Most of the guys are suffering from the cramps and we might think about resting some players and hope Gibbs will be ready for Sunday.”

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq said his side would have a psychological edge with a win in the pocket. “It was very important to have a win in such an important and close series so we definitely have the edge.”

Inzamam further said his team had shown they could compete with strong teams such as South Africa. “People wondered how we would fare against South Africa despite our wins over Bangladesh. I think we have shown character,” he said.

Inzamam said he did not panic when South Africa were 100 for no loss. “That was the key. I knew we had enough runs and the asking rate was climbing.”

Miandad-Sohail tiff

Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Javed Miandad, who has come under fire from chief selector Aamer Sohail, has asked for a meeting with the national board chairman Tauqir Zia to discuss “pressing issues”.

“I think that more concentration and professionalism is required to exploit the abilities and skills of the players,” Sohail had said. Sohail and Miandad worked together as captain and coach in 1998 but fell out in a highly publicised row after defeats at home to Australia and Zimbabwe.

Miandad shot back: “If anyone thinks he can do a better job than me as coach he is welcome to come and give it a try. I don’t need any advice from anyone.” What I have done with the team is visible to everyone. I am committed and trying hard.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and South Africa have confirmed their participation in a triangular one-day tournament in Sharjah next year, event organisers said on Saturday.

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