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Defeated Hafeez proud of Pakistan team

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez said he was proud of his team's World Twenty20 campaign despite a semi-final defeat to Sri Lanka, adding the hosts deserved to be in the final.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath proved Sri Lanka's main weapon with 3-25 after the home side scored a modest 139 in their 20 overs at Premadasa stadium on Thursday.


Sri Lanka cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene (R) is congratulated by Pakistan cricket captain Mohammad Hafeez (L) after Sri Lanka’s victory in the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cups semi-final match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. AFP

The defeat is the second successive exit at the semi-final stage of the World Twenty20 for Pakistan following their loss to Australia at the same stage of the 2010 event held in the West Indies. Pakistan, among the pre-tournament favourites, finished runners-up to India in the inaugural event in 2007 in South Africa before winning the title in England two years later.

“We played positive cricket and I am proud of my team,” Hafeez said. “Sri Lanka deserved to win and they are worthy finalists on the basis of what they have done in this tournament.” But the skipper admitted the target should have been well within his side's reach.

“The pitch was turning and it was difficult to score runs and we lost some wickets in the middle and couldn't stage a comeback. We should have chased that down.”

Hafeez, who opened the innings, top-scored with 42 before he was stumped off Herath as Pakistan slipped from 55-1 to 91-6, eventually reaching 123-7 in their 20 overs.

The Pakistan captain backed out-of-form all-rounder Shahid Afridi, dismissed first ball by Herath. Afridi mustered just 30 runs and took four wickets in the tournament.

AFP

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