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'It's been a campaign of ifs and buts' – Arthur
Pakistan News

'It's been a campaign of ifs and buts' – Arthur

Mickey Arthur admitted Pakistan’s unsuccessful World Cup campaign left him with mixed feelings as they were knocked out on net run rate despite thrashing Bangladesh by 94 runs at Lord’s on Friday.

To reach the semi-finals, Pakistan needed to win by a massive margin but their total of 315 meant that Bangladesh had to be bowled out for just eight runs.

Pakistan and New Zealand finished with 11 points in nine games, but an inferior net run rate meant that New Zealand were through to the semis.

Arthur, whose contract with the PCB ends after the World Cup, said it was a disappointing conclusion to a campaign that had plenty of highs and lows.

"It hasn't ended as we would have liked to have ended it. It's been a campaign of ifs and buts," Arthur told reporters.

"If we have a look through our first five games and we have a look through our last five, it's a campaign of two halves, which has been disappointing."

‘Scoring big was in the discussion’

Pakistan had a rough start to their World Cup campaign, with just one win from five games, which included a thumping loss to arch rivals India, and a washout against Sri Lanka.

To their credit, they staged a strong comeback by winning the next four games but still failed to make it in the top four.

Arthur said the task of scoring big runs against Bangladesh was in the discussion but became impossible due to the slowness of the pitch.

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a discussion. We won the toss, which was a good start. Getting 400 is a platform. The message we got from Fakhar (Zaman) when he came back in the change room was it was slow and tough to score," Arthur said.

Arthur admitted a seven-wicket hammering against the West Indies at the start of the tournament hurt Pakistan badly.

"If we go back, the West Indies game, the first game of the tournament, when you lose like we lost, it's almost impossible to get back on net run rate, that was disappointing," said Arthur.

'Sarfaraz has been an inspiration'

Arthur termed his team's wins over semi-finalists England and New Zealand as the main highlight of the tournament.

"It's nice to sit here and know we've beaten two of those top four teams during our campaign, which shows we are not a mile off in terms of where we are as a cricket team," he said.

Arthur also heaped praise on Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed for keeping the side gelled after coming under severe criticism following India defeat.

"I must say that I'd just like to credit the captain, Sarfaraz. What he was exposed to after the Indian game was atrocious as a Pakistan cricket captain, as any captain of any cricket team," he said.

"The way he held his composure, the way he led from the front, the way his work ethic never, ever changed. I think he's been an inspiration to that dressing room, and I think Sarfaraz deserves a lot of credit for this."