Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Pakistan captain and crisis man Misbah Ul-Haq also did not last long. Marwan Naamani / AFP
Pakistan captain and crisis man Misbah Ul-Haq also did not last long. Marwan Naamani / AFP

Pakistan failures frustrates Dav Whatmore

'No demons' in the pitch as South Africa set themselves for four more good days to level the series.

DUBAI // An angry Dav Whatmore struggled to hide his disgust as all the goodwill Pakistan had generated in an uplifting win in Abu Dhabi last week dissipated in the space of 36.4 overs yesterday.

Pakistan’s coach was livid with the way his batsmen, who were so impressive in combating the world’s best bowling attack last week, flounced to 99 all out in apparently benign batting conditions.

“I’d rather look at it as bad shot selection,” Whatmore said when asked if he thought South Africa’s bowlers, or his own batsmen, were the reason for Pakistan’s demise.

“There weren’t too many demons out there. We orchestrated our downfall ourselves.”

Conventional Test match cricket theory dictates that nine times out of 10, if you win the toss you immediately opt to bat. The one other time you might think about it briefly – then still choose to bat.

Oddly, given that the UAE is widely regarded as a graveyard for bowlers, having first use of the facilities is not always a fail-safe plan. The first-innings collapse is a phenomenon peculiar to matches in the Emirates.

Tony Hemming, the groundsman at Dubai Sports City, has said in the past that he generally aims to prepare a sporting wicket which is at its best for batting on Day 2.

Yet still captains get blinded by the sight of a beautiful looking first-day wicket. Graeme Smith did the same in Abu Dhabi last week, and the world’s best side wilted.

Even Misbah-ul-Haq, with the benefit of all his experience of these conditions as Pakistan captain, fell into the same trap yesterday. As they trail by 29 runs overnight, Pakistan will have to perform heroically to save themselves from here.

Whatmore categorically denied they had misread the pitch, though, saying the fault lay squarely with the batsmen.

“We knew what the ground statistics were, we expected the opposition to come back strong at us, but really I don’t think they did,” the coach said.

“I think we orchestrated most of our dismissals ourselves. It is very frustrating and I am trying to work out the reason for that.”

Graeme Smith, South Africa’s captain, will start this morning 67 not out. His innings was “warrior-like” according to Imran Tahir, who had earlier been the hero with the ball.

In truth, though, conditions were not the most testing Smith has faced in his 112-Test career. He will expect to cash in with a big score today.

“We are very confident because everyone played really well today as a bowling unit and a batting unit,” Tahir said.

“Looking forward for the next four days we are confident we can square the series.”


Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Supporters of unseen India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate and Chief Minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, wave as he arrives to file his election nomination papers in Varanasi. Sanjay Kanojia / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world April 24

The National View's photo editors pick the best of the day from around the world

 Sarah Geronimo. Courtesy: FLASH Entertainment

Sarah Geronimo brings her star power to Abu Dhabi this weekend

Ahead of her Abu Dhabi concert on Thursday night, we take a look at the Filipina singer Sarah Geronimo’s extraordinary career.

 Visitors look at the medieval inventor Al Jazari’s water-powered Elephant Clock. The clock is on show at the 1001 Inventions exhibition at Sharjah Expo Centre. Photos Antonie Robertson / The National

1001 Inventions: in praise of Islam’s gifts to the world

Down the centuries, from camera obscura to designing a sail that allowed early seafarers to tack into the wind, Muslim scientists have made many significant contributions to science. Rym Ghazal and Asmaa Al Hameli visit an exhibition in Sharjah that celebrates those contributions

 Mumbai Indians fans cheer they team on the opening match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Earn cash back with the IPL cricket in the UAE

Dunia finance promotion allows cricket lovers to earn up to 6 per cent unlimited cash back on any spending they make on a day when an IPL match is played in the UAE.

 Iranian workers at the Iran Khodro auto plant in Tehran on March 18. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

Iran’s love of cars survives devastating sanctions

Sanctions and energy subsidy reductions might have hurt the Iranian automotive industry. But car makers at one factory are still optimistic, Yeganeh Salehi reports from Tehran

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

Disney confirms that Star Wars: Episode 7 is filming in Abu Dhabi desert

Disney yesterday confirmed that the filming of Star Wars: Episode 7 is taking place in the desert in Abu Dhabi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National