Waqar worried about top order frailty


Pakistan needed solid efforts from Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal to beat the UAE in the Asia Cup on Monday, and coach Waqar Younis said that the top order's continued failures worried him ahead of the World Twenty20.

Pakistan needed 130 to win and got there with seven wickets in hand, but not before they lost their top three batsmen for just 17 runs. Against a stronger bowling attack, recovery may have been hard to achieve.

Waqar was pleased with the way Malik and Akmal rescued the knock, scoring unbeaten half centuries each, and praised their maturity in coping with the pressure the Associate side piled on.

Waqar said: "There are problems. The top-order hasn't scored runs again. The conditions are such that scoring runs against the new ball is difficult.

"Credit must be given to the UAE team for fighting hard. Then again, our experienced Umar Akmal and Malik played mature innings and got us home.

"The maturity they showed was very clear. They took their time. When you lose wickets like this in a cluster in the first few overs, it always creates pressure. I think they absorbed the pressure very well.

"The run-rate which was at six and a half had gone up to nine and a half, but we always knew they were capable of getting the target when the time comes.

"It was a little scary in the beginning, but as I said, they played really well."

The win put Pakistan on the board in terms of points, while the UAE remain winless.