Cricket: Misbah fears for Pakistan side after beating by Proteas

SHARJAH, UAE (AFP) - Pakistan cricket captain Misbah-ul Haq says the team's trouncing in the one-day series against South Africa is an ominous portent before the 2015 World Cup.

Pakistan went down by 117 runs in the fifth and final match in Sharjah on Monday, losing the series 1-4.

Batting was once again the problem with Pakistan, chasing a target of 269, folding for 151 in 35.3 overs.

Misbah said the consistent batting failures are worrying. "As a captain this is very difficult for me and these are worrying signs for me before the World Cup 2015," he said after the match.

Pakistan have been let down by their batsmen since their 0-3 Test rout in South Africa. They also lost the one-day series 3-2 in February and March this year.

In June they lost all three of their matches in the Champions Trophy in England, and despite their one-day win in the West Indies, the batting remains a headache.

In September, Pakistan lost a one-day game and a Test match against cricketing minnows Zimbabwe.

"Every player has got adequate chances, more than two series, and yet they are not performing and it's a big worry," the captain said.

"But rather making a big hue and cry over it we must sit down and think seriously about it."

"As captain you are responsible," said Misbah, who took over as Test captain in 2010 and one-day skipper in 2011.

Asked if he wants to keep the captaincy until the 2015 World Cup, he replied: "I always say this and I maintain that I want to play as long as I am fit."

Misbah's counterpart A.B. de Villiers said victory in the one-day series is a step in the right direction before the World Cup, to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The captain, who hit an unbeaten 115 on Monday, said the victory had lifted the Proteas after their 1-4 loss in Sri Lanka in July.

"We really hit an all-time low in Sri Lanka and moving up from there is pleasing to me and the coaching staff and the whole team," he said.

Batting was tough on a slow Sharjah stadium pitch. "It was one of the harder innings that I have played up until 60-70 runs. It was bloody difficult," he said.

"Facing (Mohammad) Irfan there - he was beating the bat - was difficult.

Saeed Ajmal was bowling well and (Shahid) Afridi bowled an amazing spell and I felt I couldn't get the ball off the square.

"But once I hit a couple in the middle in the 42 and 43rd overs it felt really good and I took my opportunity and followed through nicely," de Villiers said of his 102-ball knock studded with ten boundaries and three sixes.

The teams now play two Twenty20s in Dubai on Wednesday and Friday.

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