Melbourne :

Australia skipper Pat Cummins played down Mohammad Hafeez’s remarks about Pakistan playing “better cricket as a team” during the second Test on Friday. Pakistan stood in pole position to emerge triumphant when they were 219 for 5 and needed 98 runs for a series-levelling victory as the match seemed poised to be a cliffhanger. But Australia skipper Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc bowled a remarkable fast bowling spell as they took the host to a second consecutive triumph with a 79-run victory. After the game, Hafeez who was emotionally charged declared that Pakistan were better and said as quoted from ESPNcricinfo, “We played better cricket as a team. I’m proud of that. The way the team had the courage to attack this game in the best possible way. If I sum up the game, the Pakistan team played better than the other team in general. Our batting intent was better, and while bowling, we were hitting the right areas. Yes, we made some mistakes that cost us the game but as a team, I believe that there were a lot of positives, enough to win the game but unfortunately, at the end, we didn’t win the game.”

Cummins replied to Hafeez’s remarks and said as quoted from ESPNcricinfo, “Cool. Yeah, they played well, but glad we got the win. Doesn’t really matter, does it? [if they were the better team]. It matters who wins at the end.”

During Australia’s victory, Pakistan ended up conceding 52 extra runs in the first innings through bowling inaccurate deliveries and that too in a game where Australia’s first-innings lead was 54.

Pakistan’s losing wickets in a heap in red-ball cricket once again troubled them, especially in the first innings when they lost 5 wickets for just 46 runs.

“This game, we were very close but we couldn’t win. We made some mistakes, conceding 52 extras which really hurt us. And then crumbling from 124 for 1 to lose five main batters, that was a crucial moment we couldn’t win in the game. And then Australia were 16 for 4, we dropped a couple of catches that should have been taken,” Hafeez said.

“If we had taken our chances and won those crucial moments, perhaps this match would have ended earlier and we would have won. But this is the way the game goes; if you make a mistake this game can hurt you,” Hafeez added.

Pakistan will look to walk away with at least a single win as they face Australia in the final Test of the three-match series on January 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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