Melbourne: Babar Azam-led Pakistan was at the bottom of the points table given their defeat in the first two games against India, then Zimbabwe. While their chances to even qualify for the semis were at stack at some point in the Super 12 stage. However, Netherlands’ victory over South Africa made it possible for the Men in Green.
Nevertheless, Pakistan concluded the league stage in the top two to qualify for the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final. On top of that, their convincing win over the previous edition’s runner-up New Zealand proved their actual mettle. Despite, their marvelous momentum Pakistan failed to attain their second title, losing to England in a low-scoring match.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam backed his boys
“Congratulations to England team, we felt like everyone came here to support us, thank you so much. The way the team has gone in the last four matches [was] incredible. I told the boys to play their natural game, with freedom.”
Captain Azam moreover revealed that Shaheen’s injury caused them the defeat,
“We were 20 runs short [in the final] but fight to the last over was unbelievable. Our bowling is one of the best but unfortunately Shaheen’s injury cost us a different result, but that’s part of the game.”
The left-arm pacer was looking in good form, cleaning up in-form Alex Hales in his first over. He had bowled 2 overs, giving away 13 runs. However, Afridi seemed to have picked up an injury while taking Harry Brook’s catch in the long-off position. The 22-year-old had to hobble off the field. With his 1.5 overs remaining Pakistan could have made a comeback in the game.
On the other hand, England optimized the opportunity to score 13 runs in the 5 balls bowled by Afridi’s alternative Iftikhar.
Afridi had just recovered in time for the marquee tournament after being on a long break due to a ligament injury in his right knee. Fast bowlers are like stardust, they are the core of the team, while can also be the most fragile part of it. Hence, Afridi sustaining injury after injury is a really bad sign for the Pakistan management.
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