Playing in his 118th One-Day International, Misbah-ul-Haq played a superb, responsible innings to save Pakistan the blushes, but his unbeaten 96 wasn’t enough to prevent his team from going down to the West Indies in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, nor did it change the zero next to the centuries’ column in his ODI record.
“It’s really something special whenever you’ve get to one hundred, and especially when it’s your first hundred; it’s something you never forget for your life,” admitted Misbah, but changed focus quickly to the loss, saying, “But I think more disappointing for us was to just lose this game.”
The bowlers did their bit, picking up eight West Indies wickets while defending just 170, but the batsmen hardly did justice to their reputation. Apart from Misbah, Nasir Jamshed (50) was the only other batsman to reach double figures. “The batsmen need to be more responsible and just carry on,” said Misbah. “Anybody gets set in these sort of conditions, we need to just carry on.”
Talking specifically about the somewhat irresponsible shot Jamshed played to get out after reaching his half-century, Misbah said, “I think that shot played by Nasir really cost us. It was really a gamechanger, because at that stage it could have been easily 220‑230. And looking at the surface, it’s a good total if you cross 230.”
Misbah was involved in a spot of controversy when, before he had opened his account, he edged Kemar Roach behind the stumps, Denesh Ramdin claimed the catch, reviews proved inconclusive, and eventually the on-field umpire ruled in Misbah’s favour. “What can I say about that?” asked Misbah. “I think he (Ramdin) should have told the umpires what happened, but I don’t know what he was thinking at that time. If you know clearly that it’s not a catch, you should not claim that because it’s not in the spirit of the game.”
The one thing Pakistan had going for them, despite the loss, and can expect going forward too, is the support of the crowd. It’s something Pakistan haven’t experienced much in recent times because of the refusal of teams to tour their country.
“Yeah, it is always like that whenever you’re not playing at home, you feel for it. You really want to play at your home grounds and in front of your own crowds,” said Misbah. “But I think here, there was a big support for Pakistan. Whenever you looked in the crowd, everyone was supporting Pakistan. It looked like we were playing at home. So it’s really nice to be playing here in front of your own crowd, and it was really good to see that.”