Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is disappointed with the team’s performance against Afghanistan in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 on Monday, August 24 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. They suffered an eight-wicket defeat, owing to their lacklustre performance in the match. This is their third defeat of the tournament so far.
Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first. They put on 282 runs on the board on the back of the fifties from Abdullah Shafique and Babar Azam. Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed also made valuable contributions lower down the order. In response, Afghanistan batters came out with a strong approach. They finished off the game with an over to spare and eight wickets in hand. Pakistan’s bowling failed to make many inroads in the Afghanistan batting attack.
Reacting to the loss, Babar Azam expressed that they were not up to the mark. He said in the post-match press conference,
“This hurts us. We had a good total. In the bowling, we weren’t up to the mark as we were not taking wickets in the middle overs. If you are not good in even one department, then you’ll lose the game. We didn’t stop boundaries and gave away runs, that cost us.”
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) October 23, 2023
All credit to Afghanistan: Babar Azam
Afghanistan’s top order was instrumental in their win against Pakistan at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah slammed half-centuries in the match. Meanwhile, skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi also played a crucial knock finishing off the game with a boundary. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam credited the Afghanistan batters. He said,
“Bowling – we started well, in the middle overs, we needed wickets but we couldn’t take any. All credit to Afghanistan for the way they played in all three departments. That’s why they won. We are not playing good cricket in bowling and fielding.”
“We’ll try our best in the next match. We didn’t hit the lengths in the middle overs, especially our spinners. We couldn’t put pressure on the batters,” he added.
Pakistan ranks fifth on the points table in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. They have four points from five matches and an NRR of -0.400. They will take on South Africa in their next game on October 27 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.