A comprehensive win over Hong Kong is a perfect start but Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed says his team will have to raise the game by several notches to outwit arch-rivals India in the much-awaited Asia Cup clash on Wednesday.
Pakistan defeated Hong Kong by eight wickets on Sunday night in the Asia Cup. Sarfraz said his team needs to iron out a few things before the clash against India.
“As a captain, I saw a couple of things which we should work on. For us to go the distance in the tournament, we should have won this game (against Hong Kong) by nine or 10 wickets.
“We also need to ball better with the new ball. We need to get early wickets with the new ball. It didn’t swing for us with the new ball, that is alarming for us,” Sarfraz said after the match.
“We will work on it in our next practice session. It’s a good win but to win against India we have to be at our best in all the three departments,” he added.
Left-arm pacer Usman Khan was the star performer for Pakistan and was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match for picking up three wickets in an over that helped Pakistan bowl out Hong Kong for a paltry 116.
Pakistan chased down the target with consummate ease, scoring 120 for 2 in 23.4 overs.
“When I came to bowl in the first spell, I tried to pick wickets with the new ball, but luck was not with me. In the second spell, I got the ball to reverse swing and I managed to take wickets,” Usman said.
Usman, however, was pulled out midway through his eighth over and hobbled off the ground raising fitness concerns.
However, the 24-year-old said it was a case of minor bleeding which he suffered after slipping on the field.
“It’s alright. I was bleeding from my feet but all is fine right now. I just slipped a little bit so I thought it would be safe to get it checked,” he said.
Hong Kong skipper Anshuman Rath blamed his batsmen for not being able to put enough runs on the board.
“Lots of soft dismissals. 120 (116) was not enough. It was a good wicket. Credit goes to the Pakistan bowlers,” he said.
“Our off-spinners are top class, but we just didn’t have enough runs on the board. I think early on, it swung a bit; there was a bit of bounce.
“We got through the start, but we couldn’t convert it. One fifty-run partnership is not enough to post a good total,” he added.