‘Worst defeat of my career’- Mickey Arthur after defeat against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi
"The guys tried unbelievably hard."
On the fourth day’s play at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Pakistan, captained by Sarfraz Ahmed, needed to chase down 176 to win the first Test against New Zealand and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. However, they lost wickets at regular intervals and slumped a defeat by a meagre four runs to grass a golden chance of clinching the ascendancy.
Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq contributed with 65 and 45 respectively, but the others couldn’t step up. Ajaz Patel, the left-arm spinner, ripped the hosts apart with his maiden five-wicket haul. In the meantime, Mickey Arthur, the Pakistan head coach, termed the defeat as the worst of his career. Nevertheless, he vowed to take the positives out and come back stronger.
There was no complacency
“This is probably one of the worst defeats I have ever suffered in my career. Everyone from myself as head coach to the players and the staff are hurting but we will use this defeat as a motivation to give ourself every opportunity to win the second game,” Arthur was quoted as saying in Sportstar Live.
“There was no complacency, I can certainly say. The guys tried unbelievably hard and everyone was disappointed from the decision of shot selection under pressure. We need to learn from this and move forward very, very quickly,” he remarked.
Last year, Pakistan lost a Test in a similar manner, that time against Sri Lanka at the same venue. Chasing 136, the home team was bowled out for 114 runs. Haris Sohail was their top scorer with 34 runs as the likes of Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath ran through their batting lineup. Arthur also reminisced that loss and said that the team needs to learn and chase totals down.
“The most disappointing thing was that it happened against Sri Lanka last year as well. That’s the thing the batting unit needs to get over and that we need to chase down targets in fourth innings,” he added.