Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed slams 'disgraceful' Ross Taylor after ODI defeat
New Zealand batsman Taylor made a bent-arm gesture towards Mohammed Hafeez, who was bowling at him, suggesting the off-spinner was bowling with an illegal action
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has slammed Ross Taylor as "disgraceful" after the New Zealand batsman mimicked Mohammed Hafeez's bowling action during Wednesday's ODI match in Abu Dhabi.
Taylor made a bent-arm gesture towards Hafeez, who was bowling at him, suggesting the off-spinner was bowling with an illegal action.
Hafeez was cleared to return to bowling in April after being reported for a fourth time by the International Cricket Council for breaching the permitted 15 degrees of flex.
Sarfraz exchanged words with Taylor and complained to the umpires.
“He has no business to make that action in front of everyone, especially to see that on the television. It was disgraceful,” Sarfraz said after Pakistan's 47-run defeat.
“It is not his job. His job is to bat and he should be focusing on that. What I told the umpires was the action that he showed wasn’t sportsmanship.
“First of all, he shouldn’t have done that because it is the duty of umpires to look into it. He reacted two, three times and being a professional cricketer he shouldn’t have done that.
“If he wanted to make a point, he could have reported to the umpire, instead making such actions on the field. I don’t see any problem in Hafeez’s action. He has clear action and I feel he was trying to create an issue out of nothing.”
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Wednesday's defeat in the first ODI at Zayed Cricket Stadium extended Pakistan's losing streak to the Black Caps to 12 games over four years, to see the visitors take a 1-0 series lead.
A devastating spell of bowling in the third over by Trent Boult saw the left-arm quick claim a hat-trick to leave Pakistan reeling on 8-3, a point that the hosts never recovered from.
“Trent was remarkable on the night and the New Zealand bowling hurt us very badly,” Sarfraz said.
“When you lose three wickets in three deliveries in the third over of the innings, it is always difficult to make a comeback. There were also some soft dismissals in the middle, if not we could have finished better.”
Pakistan were 85-6 before Sarfraz (64) and Imad Wasim (50) staged a fightback with a 103-run stand for the seventh wicket.
However, when that partnership ended, they were shot out for 219 in reply to New Zealand’s 266-9.
Sarfraz also felt the poor bowling at the end allowed New Zealand to post a more competitive total.
“The pitch was good and the target was achievable. We reduced them to 208-7 at one point and later allowed them to score around 50 runs in the last five overs. It proved costly for us.
“This is the worrying signs for the team so we will try to sit with the boys and talk of not giving away those early wickets. Had we not lost those early wickets, the situation would have been different.”
Boult, who missed his team’s Twenty20 series defeat to Pakistan here last week to attend the birth of his first child, was returning to the international fold after a seven-month break.
“The lucky charm must be watching the game in the early hours of the morning back home,” he said when asked if the newborn was an inspiration.
“I had a pretty quiet winter, to be honest, probably four months off from cricket. The summer pretty much starts for me here. It’s a big tour in the UAE and I’ll be back home for the New Zealand summer.
“I had been in the gym doing the things that need to do to make sure my body is right; the rhythm came good tonight. I had a bit time away from the game and to make an impact was nice feeling.”
The second ODI takes place in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Updated: November 8, 2018 12:29 PM