T20 WC: Babar Azam pinpoints turning point for Pakistan in 'badly played' game against USA

Sports Friday 07/June/2024 08:10 AM
T20 WC: Babar Azam pinpoints turning point for Pakistan in 'badly played' game against USA

Dallas : Pakistan captain Babar Azam opened up about their shortcomings and revealed the turning point of the game as they slumped to an early upset against the USA in the T20 World Cup.

In a nail-biting thriller that kept the fans on the edge of their seats, USA pulled off a remarkable win over Pakistan in the Super Over.

Pakistan were reeling at 26/3 when Babar and Shadab Khan joined hands at the crease. The duo stabilised their sinking ship by forging a promising-looking 72-run stand.

But, the Babar-led team again found themselves in turmoil after Shadab failed to sweep it over short fine leg.

"The first six overs, the ball was holding and was swinging. But the more partnerships we build, the better for us. When Shadab and I started the partnership, we got momentum. I think when we lost the wickets back-to-back, that was the turning point. When you got momentum, you lost it because of losing wickets," Babar said in the post-match press conference.

Unfamiliar conditions against a USA side that the Pakistan team was unacquainted played a prominent role in their downfall.

The batters struggled to spend time on the field and the pacers didn't find their rhythm. The fielders ended up giving away misfields that never allowed the USA to feel pressure until the final three overs.

Babar didn't hold back while assessing their performance in all three departments of the game.

"We are not playing good in all three departments. We are better than that in the bowling, we are not in the first six overs taking wickets. In the middle overs your spinner is not taking wickets then pressure is on us. But I think the way they finished the game in the super overs I think credit to the US team," Babar stated.

"It was difficult in the beginning, but we covered it. But as a professional, you have to step up against such a performance or such a team in the batting, in the middle order. This is not an excuse that they played well. I think we played badly," he added.

Despite succumbing to an unprecedented defeat, the Pakistan skipper acknowledged that he was "feeling good".

"To be honest, I am feeling good. If you lose a match, you are always upset. I think we are not playing well, on both sides. Fielding, bowling, and batting," Babar noted.

During the game, Pakistan managed to crawl to 159/7 after Shaheen Afridi came in and pulled off a couple of big hits at the end.

In reply, the USA looked well poised to chase down the total. After Andries Gous and the captain Monank Patel brought up a 68-run partnership.

But Pakistan made inroads of a comeback with the pacers hitting consistent line and length. With five needed on the final ball, Nitish Kumar struck a four to send the game to Super Over.

Experienced quick Mohammad Amir who shined in the penultimate over was handed the ball to bowl the final six deliveries.

But it turned out to be a complete contrast in performance, he missed his line, bowled a couple of wides and gave away 18 runs.

In reply, Pakistan folded on 13/1 and allowed the USA to walk away with a 5-run win.