Seniors Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Gul aim to lead Pakistan’s World Cup march

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Seniors Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Gul aim to lead Pakistan’s World Cup march
The Pakistani team is flying after a morale-boosting win over co-hosts Sri Lanka at the Premadasa Stadium on Saturday.
The 11-run victory has given them much-needed confidence and the belief that they can topple the best in the business as they continue on their campaign for the ICC World Cup 2011 title.
The Men in are being labelled the dark horses by many, yet the players themselves feel that they can go all the way and win the title for the second time in their history after they annexed the Cup for the first and the last time thus far in 1992.
In the first two games, the experience of has been extremely handy for the team. The two stalwarts scored invaluable fifties to guide their team from potentially tricky situations.
Younis in particular was fluent rotating the strike at will besides hitting the odd boundary in a crucial knock against the Lankans, he smothered the challenge of Muttiah Muralitheran intelligently building a 108-run stand with Misbah.
Younis stated at the nets session in Colombo today that he was willing to bat wherever the team wants him to as he knows that his role is to play under pressure and lay a foundation for the big hitters lower down the order.
“My job is that wherever there is a need, I play there,” Younis said at the P Sara Oval in Colombo after a practice session. “I played at number three before and now we need me at number four, so whatever the situation is for the team or in the match, I will do. Misbah and I are the seniors and we talk about our roles. We've made a couple of good partnerships, so we want to keep that going. In both of the games, I have missed hundreds but I am happy that I have scored fifties."
Younis and Misbah, at 33 and 36, are the key to Pakistan’s chances in the middle order, the two have shown real signs of commitment and determination and the Pakistan management wants them to carry the burden of a brittle batting line-up that has the tendency of imploding spectacularly.
On the other hand, another senior player, fast bowler revealed that the senior players had gathered together before the World Cup started and had decided that they would take the lead.
“The seniors got together and decided that we have to make an extra effort with juniors,” Gul said. He said the seniors decided they would take the workload from the juniors so they could be role models for them. He said the seniors had set a target for themselves to fulfil as much responsibility as they could.
Gul was slightly off-colour in the game against, but he bowled the final over of the innings and got rid of a set Nuwan Kulsekara, who was threatening to take the game away from Pakistan with an onslaught at the end of the innings. Gul hopes that his real form would return in time for the knockout stage of the event.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s win over the Lankans puts them in a good position to not only qualify for the quarter-finals but also to be a possible leader on the points table as two of their four remaining games are against are expected to trample over with ease.



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