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ICC World Twenty20 2007

Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson and batsman Misbah-ul-Haq
I could see him playing it because fine leg was up and a yorker was coming

Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson on Misbah-ul-Haq's dismissal
Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson defended batsman Misbah-ul-Haq after they lost the World Twenty20 final to India.

With Pakistan needing six from four balls to win the game, an unorthodox shot saw Misbah caught at fine leg as he stepped across to the off-side.

"He's played it well in this tournament and with a little more bat on it, it would have gone for four," Lawson said.

"I could see him playing it because fine leg was up, a yorker was coming so the shot was pretty much on the cards."

He added: "Having already had a tie with India, it was always going to be close.

"With five overs to go we were almost out of the game, but with four balls to go, we were well and truly back in it.

"But if Misbah had hit the last ball a little finer, we'd have needed two off three balls to win the whole tournament - that's how close it was.

"He's been terrific - he's 33, he's been the top scorer in Pakistan domestic cricket for five years in a row and he's been great in domestic Twenty20. He's got a terrific cricket brain and I think you'll see him around in Pakistan cricket for years to come."

Lawson also saluted his side's spirit after they bounced back from a disappointing World Cup campaign to come close to winning the tournament.

"Results apart, I've been really happy with the consistency our guys have shown. They've shown fight when they've been under pressure, and today was no exception," he added.

"If they had a bowler of the tournament award, I think Umar Gul would have won that, as he's been outstanding.

"Mohammad Asif was great, we found Sohail Tanvir from somewhere to come out as a replacement, so there have been so many positives to come out of the tournament.

"But I'm a little bit tired of reading how disjointed and unharmonious the Pakistan team is, as people just don't know what goes on in that dressing-room. They're a terrific bunch of guys, and we've got all the ingredients to be a good side."

Meanwhile, captain Shoaib Malik said "a few bad shots" cost his side in their five-run defeat in Johannesburg.

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik
Captain Shoaib Malik felt poor shots had cost Pakistan in the final
"India have a strong batting line-up, but we restricted them to 157, and the bowling was superb," Malik said.

"I don't think it was down to pressure, but we played a few bad shots - I think that's why we lost the game."

"I want to thank everyone back home in Pakistan and around the world - sorry we didn't win, but we did give 100%."

All-rounder Shahid Afridi, who was out first ball in the final but whose 12 wickets in the competition was only bettered by team-mate Gul's 13, was named player of the tournament.

"We played really good cricket, but I want to congratulate India for winning," he said.

"Twenty20 is good entertainment, I think the ICC should have it every two years.

"I've struggled with my batting, but I've been concentrating on my bowling and fielding too.

"A friend of mine told me I would be man of the series, so this is for him."

World Twenty20 final ratings
24 Sep 07 |  Cricket


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