Middle order failure cost us match: Malik

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New Delhi, Nov 26 (UNI) Disappointed at losing the first Test rather tamely, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said the insipid batting display by the middle order cost them the match and they were short of 100 runs to give the Indians any serious trouble in the fourth innings.

''We were bowled out below 250 in both the innings and I think we were short of 100 runs in the match. Had we scored 300-plus in the second innings, we could have won the match,'' Malik told reporters at the post-match press conference.

Malik refused to blame anybody for the loss, but said the middle order failed to deliver to back up the bowlers.

''Our bowlers bowled well. It's lot ecouraging to see Shoaib Akhtar bowl that way. The openers (Salman Butt and Yasir Hameed) also batted well,'' he said.

''You can not expect Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf to score runs every time. They are great players and will be back with runs in the next two matches'' was what the Pakistani captain had to offer on the two seniormost players' failure in the match.

''No one is responsible. Kabhi achcha din hota hai toh kabhi bura din. It's a part of the game.

''There are still two Tests to go, Inshaallah, we will come back in the series,'' he added.

On his own form, Malik said, ''My form is good. In the first innings I got out to a good ball and in the second innings it (ball) kept low.'' When asked if the Pakistan team had a meeting talking about the need to come out of the ODI mode, the 25-year-old all-rounder said, ''There was nothing wrong in any team member's style of play. Every player has to play his own game.'' When asked whether leg-spinner Danish Kaneria's inability to take wickets in the second innings proved to be crucial, the Pakistan

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