Pakistan could have seen a different outcome if Shaheen Shah Afridi had not been injured during T20 Globalism Captain Babar Azam said, in the cup final, today, Sunday, after his team lost the title match against England.
Afridi injured his knee while colliding with Harry Brooks. He was brought into the attack in the 16th round but could only shoot one shot and Iftikhar Ahmed had to finish it. Badly affected the bowling balance.
Ahmad’s friendly breaks saw 13 runs by England hitter Ben Stokes, who fired for a six and four, as the pressure created by Pakistan eased afterwards.
“Maybe if Shaheen had thrown that, things would have been different. Since there were two left-handed people (Stokes and Maeen Ali) I thought about bowling,” Babar said.
“Because we didn’t build a partnership, we went back. The England bowlers were great but that’s no excuse. We played according to the situation but pressured us until the end of the 20th day. If Shaheen had been there, it would have been different.”
The Pakistani middle system didn’t live up to its potential and they paid for its scoring of only 137 to 8, which is at least 20 points below par on the MCG.
However, the captain thought otherwise.
“I won’t blame the middle class for our defeat. We win and lose as a team. After we were 85 (84) in 11 increases, we should have scored at least 150. But that’s the beauty of cricket,” said the skipper of Pakistan.
A week ago, Pakistan was not even contenders in the semi-finals but South Africa lost to the Netherlands and opened an opportunity for Babar’s team.
The captain praised his teammates for their amazing display at the end of the tournament.
“Yes, losing the final is painful, but the way we’ve played our last four matches (including the final), the boys deserve credit,” Babar said.
Babar was not willing to talk much about his shortcomings.
We lost and I can understand there will be questions asked. When asked if some things need to be changed in their setting, he said when asked if it’s too early to predict and we need to discuss a lot of things.