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Ali, Swann confident of their team's win

AFP
Feb 06, 2012 at 07:49am IST

Dubai: Rivals players Azhar Ali of Pakistan and Graeme Swann of England on Sunday showed confidence their teams can pull off a win in the third and final Test which was set for an interesting finish.

England, set to chase 324 runs on an eased out Dubai Stadium pitch, were 36-0 but face an uphill task against Pakistan's threatening spin duo of Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman, who orchestrated their team's wins in the first two Tests.

If England succeed they will have chased their second best target following the 332 they overhauled against Australia way back in 1929. That will also help them avoid the humiliation of the first-ever clean sweep against Pakistan.

Ali, Swann confident of their team's win

England's Graeme Swann celebrates taking the wicket of Pakistan's Abdur Rehman during day three of the third Test at Dubai. (AP Photo)

Pakistan set the target on the back of a career-best 157 by Ali and a brilliant 127 by Younis Khan, both sharing an invaluable 216-run stand for the third wicket.

Ali said his team was confident of the win.

"We are hundred percent confident to win the match but obviously we have to take 10 wickets," said Ali.

Despite the confidence Ali warned one good partnership from England batsmen can take the game away.

"We know it's a good total and batsmen will feel pressure but we just can't sit back because one good partnership can take the match away from us," said Ali.

Ali, 26, said Pakistan have world class spinners who can derail England.

"We have world class spinners and the manner in which wickets are falling if we get two-three out you will see a flurry of wickets and their batting is under a lot of pressure so we need breakthroughs," said Ali.

England were bowled out for a mere 72 runs when set a target of 145 in the second Test in Abu Dhabi during Pakistan's 72-run win. Pakistan won the first Test by ten wickets, also played here.

Ali showed happiness at his performance.

"I am very happy that I have been performing for the last one to one and a half years and if you contribute one gets the satisfaction. The last half-century in Abu Dhabi gave me lots of satisfaction because we won the match," said Ali.

Swann, who took 3-101, said England were set for a good chase.

"It is a great end of the day. We got just rewards for our perseverance with the ball. It would have been a tricky period for the openers but they have calmed the storm and set us for a good chase tomorrow," said the off-spinner.

Swann hoped England's batsmen do differently to win the Test.

"I would like not to block against the ball like we did in the last game and destroy us again. I think each of the batsmen will come up with plans different from the Abu Dhabi debacle," said Swann.

"(Andrew) Strauss the way he looks to be playing has come with counter measures against Pakistan spinners and obviously with the rest of our guys as well. I think we do need a decent score and I being an optimist would like to think it is going to be tomorrow."

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