SA v PAK 2021: “Very disappointed in not finishing the game,” says Imam-ul-Haq

Pakistan’s opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq was disappointed with himself as he was not able to finish off the game, even though Pakistan managed to gain a victory over South Africa in the first ODI.

South Africa on account of Rassie van der Dussen’s maiden ODI century posted a total of 273/6 in their quota of 50 overs against Pakistan in the first match of the three-ODI series. 

Chasing the target, Pakistan didn’t had a great start as they lost opener Fakhar Zaman in the third over of their innings. 

His opening partner Imam-ul-Haq joined hands with skipper Babar Azam and the duo went on to stitch 177 runs partnership before Anrich Nortje’s fiery four-wicket haul saw Pakistan’s middle-order collapsing as they were reduced from 186/1 to 203/5 

However, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf’s contributions in the lower order guided Pakistan to a thrilling victory on the last ball of the match. 

SA v PAK 2021: Babar Azam says Pakistan will adopt ‘modern-day’ approach against South Africa

Talking about the match, Pakistani opener Imam-ul-Haq said that Pakistan members have discussed the roles of their top-3 batsmen in the team and know that if one of them gets set he has to go on to score big.

“You know there’s this pandemic bringing everyone down these days and so we thought we’d entertain people a little. But on a serious note, if you want to win big tournaments and become a top-three team… it’s not as if we don’t talk about this in our meetings, it gets discussed, that if your top three get set in white-ball, then in other teams they don’t just make 100, they get 150,” Imam-ul-Haq told ESPNCricinfo. 

Haq said that they want to learn from their mistakes and convert 70s and 80s into match-winning hundreds and win with seven or six wickets. 

“That is what we’re trying to do, like Babar Azam and I were set today, we should finish the game. We were playing an ODI after a long time. We want to learn from our mistakes and turn these 70s and 80s into matchwinning knocks and turn a win like this into a seven- or six-wicket win,” he said. 

Imam-ul-Haq while talking about his own performance said that he’s very disappointed with himself to not finish the game after having a good start. He added that he’ll make up for it in the last two games. 

“To be honest, I’m very disappointed in not finishing the game. I’ve been waiting one and a half years since my last hundred. I haven’t had that many opportunities in the last year. You don’t always get what you want, but I’ve got two more games to make up for it,” he concluded. 

With three wicket victory in the first ODI, Pakistan has taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. The second game will be played on Sunday at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

(ESPNCricinfo inputs) 

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