MoM Umar Gul, on Friday
Colombo: Umar Gul never thought that the match was out of their hands when he went in to bat at 76 for seven. His eighth wicket partnership of 49 with Umar Akmal fetched Pakistan a two-wicket victory against South Africa in the Super Eights on Friday.
“We were confident we could do it. We needed to score around 10 in the remaining overs…Umar and I decided that the task was possible if we stayed at the wicket,” the Man of the Match later said.
“We never let the pressure affect us. We decided to give it our best shot and performed well… Insallah, the confidence we gained from this match will help us in the remainder of the tournament,” Gul said.
Did winning an MoM award for his contribution with the bat come as a surprise? “In T20s, all should contribute… It’s not important how and who does it.”
He didn’t wish to think much about their next match against India. “India’s batting line-up is strong… Pressure will always be there. The most important thing is not to feel much about it and give in your hundred per cent,” Gul explained.
Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez was delighted with Gul’s effort with the bat and said every member of the side is trying to contribute in one or the other way, which augurs well for his side.
“The boys played great cricket. It was a great team effort. The bowlers bowled brilliantly to restrict South Africa. Then we did play a few rash shots… But I knew that Gul could hit it hard. This is a good sign that everybody is contributing.”
Robin Peterson, on the other hand, didn’t wish to read much into the loss. “We will have another opportunity to set things right. Obviously we’re disappointed but there are still two more matches to go.”
South Africa skipper AB de Villiers conceded that he made a few errors in captaincy that helped Pakistan to snatch a thrilling win.
“It was a great game of cricket. I’m proud of the way we fought back.
“But we lost it in the last five overs. I think I made a few errors in captaincy… I should have bowled Peterson and Botha more,” De Villiers said.