Despite reaching their target of 282/7 against Afghanistan’s spin-heavy attack, Pakistan’s cricket team fell short in the match. Babar Azam, the team’s captain, attributed the loss to subpar bowling and fielding.
Strong Start but Weak Middle Overs
While Pakistan started strong against Afghanistan’s opening pair, the middle overs proved challenging. Even after Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali dismissed the two openers, Afghanistan maintained momentum and achieved their target with an over to spare.
Babar Azam’s Take on the Loss
Babar Azam expressed his disappointment with the team’s performance, particularly in bowling and fielding. He emphasized the importance of maintaining pressure on the opposing team through consistent bowling and fielding, which he felt was lacking in this match.
Top Scores and Batting Strategy
Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique were the top scorers for Pakistan, with 74 and 58 runs respectively. Iftikhar Ahmed also contributed significantly, scoring 40 runs from 27 balls. Despite falling short by 10-15 runs, Babar Azam believes the team’s batting strategy was successful.
Struggles with Spinners
The captain noted that the game began to unravel when Pakistan’s spinners failed to control the middle overs as effectively as Afghanistan’s. He pointed out that the team’s inability to bowl within the stumps and the inconsistency in their bowling were significant issues.
Spinners’ Performance and Bowling Strategy
Pakistan’s spinners, including Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, and Iftikhar Ahmed, struggled to restrict the flow of runs. Babar Azam also mentioned the absence of Naseem Shah, which limited the flexibility of the bowling attack.
Babar Azam criticized the team’s fielding efforts, stating that the lack of attitude and focus contributed to Afghanistan reaching their target. He stressed the need for the team to be proactive and put in extra effort in fielding.
Despite this being Pakistan’s third loss of the tournament, Babar Azam remains hopeful. He emphasized the need to learn from this loss, overcome mistakes, and bring a positive vibe to the team. With a challenging match against South Africa on the horizon, Pakistan will need to find those positive vibes quickly.