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Whatmore wants to leave Pakistan on winning note

January 6, 2014

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dav Whatmore wants to end his two-year coaching stint with Pakistan by winning a test series against a country which he coached to win the World Cup 18 years ago.

Pakistan hasn’t won a test series since Whatmore joined them in 2012, but the former Australia test batsman said Monday he wanted to end his job on a winning note.

″(I want to) win, particularly against Sri Lanka, the team I coached for six years,” Whatmore said as he prepared Pakistan for Wednesday’s second test after drawing the first of a three-match series in Abu Dhabi. “I am keen on doing well against them, some of them are very good friends but when I enter the field we are enemies, so I am keen to finish the stint with a win.”

Whatmore twice coached Sri Lanka and was the coach of the side which won the World Cup in 1996 in Lahore.

Under Whatmore, who was born in Sri Lanka, Pakistan drew test series against South Africa and Zimbabwe in 2013, and lost a test series in Sri Lanka in 2012 before the Proteas whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 at home last year.

Pakistan was on the verge of taking a 1-0 lead in Abu Dhabi before they squandered a 179-run first innings lead and it looked like the match could finish inside four days. However, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews scored career-best 157 not out in the second innings and featured in two solid century partnerships with deputy Dinesh Chandimal (89) and Prasanna Jayawardene (63 not out) to set up a daunting 302-run target for Pakistan by declaring at 480-5.

“We couldn’t get the advantage of the two hundreds that Misbah and Younis scored and did not have a big lead,” Whatmore said of Pakistan’s second innings collapse.

Needing 302 in a minimum of 67 overs, Pakistan ended up by settling for the draw and finished at 158-2 on the last day with Mohammad Hafeez scoring an unbeaten 80 and debutant Ahmed Shehzad hitting 55.

“We did a pretty good job and with a little bit of luck had we not lost Ahmed Shehzad we may have certainly thought about going on to win the match,” Whatmore said after Pakistan lost Shehzad soon after tea on the final day.

Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal (0-115) had to shoulder the burden of bowling long spells in the second innings but could not break the concentration of the resilient Mathews, who batted for 7½ hours in hitting only his second test century.

But the workload of Ajmal, who returned wicketless in 49 overs in the second innings, was not something which has worried Whatmore.

“I don’t think it was a worry, spinners do like to bowl long spells,” Whatmore said. “It was a combination of the difficulties he faced extracting something out of the wicket as well as opposition playing very well.”

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