All-rounder says he never thought that they cannot win the match during his unbeaten 96-run innings
Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik, who is enjoying a perfect comeback to the national team with great performances, said the victory was inevitable if they had been allowed to play full overs.
Malik, who scored unbeaten 96 in Harare on Saturday where Pakistan lost by five runs according to the D/L method, said he was not happy with the way things ended but he has to respect and follow the rules.
“The way we were batting then, I think the game was in our favour,” said Malik.
“Obviously there are certain ICC rules and we have to follow them. I think overall it was a great game, but at the end of the day it’s a little bit disappointing the way it ended. But being a professional cricketer and representing your country, you have to follow certain rules and regulations.”
Read: Farce, drama and despair in Harare as Pakistan fall short
Pakistan were 76-6 at one point but Malik came in and together with Aamir Yamin and Yasir Shah batted for nearly 42 overs and nearly took his team to victory.
“I had one thing in my mind. If we play the full 50 overs, then we might have a chance,” said Malik.
“The minute that Aamer Yamin came in he gave me that hope, ‘okay I’m here and I can hit boundaries’. So he started hitting boundaries and I started taking singles. And it was just one thing that I always had in my mind during the game: that I have to play until the 50th over. And whichever way the game goes, either to Zimbabwe or us, I still have to play the fifty overs.”
Malik, moreover, said that throughout the match he never felt that they cannot win the game.
“I never thought of it that way. The way [Yamin] batted, he gave us hope. Even when Yasir Shah came in, the way he was batting I think the pressure was on the Zimbabwe team. It’s like a team thing. Obviously we lost, but at the end of the day we have achieved a lot from this game.”
Malik also defended Pakistan’s decision to attack Zimbabwe which resulted in them losing important wickets early on.
“The way cricket is going I think you have to play aggressive cricket, and that’s what we even talked about in our meeting before this game. Sometimes you lose wickets, sometimes you score runs. It’s part of the game.”
Meanwhile, the all-rounder also praised Elton Chigumbura’s role in the Zimbabwe team and the match.
“We started off well bowling as a unit, but obviously we must also give credit to the Zimbabwean batsmen, especially [Chamu] Chibhabha and Chigumbura. Especially Chigumbura and the way he batted at the end. There are areas of improvement for us, which we’ll look at and come back hard.”