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“Can’t Expect Much”: Babar Azam Doesn’t Mince Words, Blames India Defeat On…






Following his side’s six-run loss to India in their ICC T20 World Cup match, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam admitted that his side losing back-to-back wickets and playing more dot balls in the second half of their innings contributed to their defeat despite a fine bowling performance. In a nerve-wracking battle between bat and ball, Pakistan could not hold their nerves, giving away a solid position after the first half while chasing 120 runs as Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya pulled back the game with their bowling and left their opponents short by six runs at New York’s Nassau County Stadium on Sunday.

Speaking in the post-match presentation, Babar said, “We bowled well. In the batting, lost back-to-back wickets and had too many dot balls. Tactics were simple to play normally. Just strike rotation and the odd boundary. But in that period (the second half of their run-chase) we had too many dot balls. We cannot expect much from tailenders. Our mind was to utilise the first six overs in batting. But one wicket down, and again we were not up to the mark in that phase. The pitch looked decent. The ball was coming on nicely. It was a little bit slow, and some balls extra bounce. Have to win the last two matches. Will sit and discuss our mistakes but looking forward to the last two matches.”

After winning this thriller, India is at the top of Group A with two wins in two games and four points. Pakistan is in fourth place, having lost both their games to the USA and India. Their knockout stage chances look slim.

Coming to the match, Pakistan won the toss and put India to bat first. However, the Indian batters did not get things going for them at this tough surface as star openers Virat Kohli (4) and Rohit Sharma (13) failed to score big. Rishabh Pant (42 in 31 balls, with six fours) seemed to be playing on a different pitch and had useful partnerships with Axar Patel (20 in 18 balls, with two fours and a six) and Suryakumar Yadav (seven in eight balls, with a four). However, the lower middle order crumbled under the pressure of scoring runs on such a tough pitch and India could make just 119 in 19 overs.

Haris Rauf (3/21) and Naseem Shah (3/21) were the top bowlers for Pakistan. Mohammed Amir got two scalps while Shaheen Shah Afridi got one.

In the run-chase, Pakistan took a more measured approach and Mohammed Rizwan (31 in 44 balls, with a four and six) held one end steady. However, Bumrah (3/14) and Hardik Pandya (2/24) got crucial wickets of skipper Babar Azam (13), Fakhar Zaman (13), Shadab Khan (4), Iftikhar Ahmed (5) as well, which kept the pressure intact on Pakistan. With 18 runs needed in the final over, Naseem Shah (10*) tried to win it for Pakistan, however, Arshdeep Singh (1/31) made sure Pakistan fell short by six runs.

Bumrah secured the ‘Player of the Match’ for his match-winning spell.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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