Babar Azam throws bowlers under the bus after Pakistan's shocker against USA has T20 World Cup hopes in tatters | Crickit
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Babar Azam throws bowlers under the bus after Pakistan's shocker against USA has T20 World Cup hopes in tatters

Jun 07, 2024 10:27 AM IST

With USA winning two in two and India having won against Ireland in Group A, Pakistan's T20 World Cup hopes are in tatters after the shock loss on Thursday.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam reckoned that the total of 159 for seven was defendable against co-hosts USA and the shock loss at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas on Thursday was down to their bowling unit not putting their best performance.

Babar Azam took aim at bowlers for Pakistan's loss against USA in T20 World Cup
Babar Azam took aim at bowlers for Pakistan's loss against USA in T20 World Cup

Playing their second match in the T20 World Cup, after beating Canada in their opener, USA levelled Pakistan's score under pressure in the final over before amassing 18 runs in the Super Over without hitting a single six. Mohammed Amir, who struggled against left-handed Harmeet, bowled three wides and conceded seven extras in all in that over. In response, Pakistan managed only 13 runs for the loss of one wicket, leaving their T20 World Cup campaign hanging in balance.

Speaking in the post-match presentation, Babar reckoned that with much on offer from the Dallas track for the bowlers in the opening six overs, Pakistan's new-ball attack failed to capitalise it, unlike the USA, who snared three wickets in the powerplay.

ALSO READ: Yuvraj Singh fumes at Babar Azam's 'Fakhar Zaman' tactic in shocking loss to USA, sounds 'India vs Pakistan' alarm bells

"Today's wicket had help for the fast bowlers in the first six overs," Babar said. "But later on, I didn't feel it was a different wicket. It settled down a bit. Because of the early start - the matches are starting at 10.30am - the fast bowlers will obviously get a little help. There was some juice in the pitch early morning. So they utilised that and executed their plan.

"Even in the second innings, I think we also got help, but we were not up to the mark in terms of our bowling areas. We lacked in that in the first ten overs. We came back after that but they had already taken the momentum. But given the bowlers we have, we should have defended that total. On this pitch, I think it was a defendable total for our bowling.

"We are better than that in the bowling. We did not take wickets in the first six overs. In the middle overs, if your spinner is not taking wickets, then the pressure is on you. After ten overs, we did come back but I think the way they finished game in the Super Over, the credit goes to the US team."

Babar also regretted not capitalising on the opportunity to take the game deep after he and Shadab Khan revived Pakistan after a horror start to stitch a 72-run stand for the fourth wicket off 48 balls. The partnership was broken by left-arm spinner Nosthush Kenjige, who dismissed Shadab and Azam Khan in successive deliveries to dent Pakistan's hopes.

"In the first six overs, the ball was holding a bit and seaming around," Babar said. "So it was important to build a partnership. When Shadab and I had that partnership, we got momentum. I think when we lost the wickets back to back, that was the turning point. The momentum we had was shifted towards the other side.

"It was difficult in the beginning, but we covered it up. But as a professional unit, the middle order needs to step up in such situations. This is not an excuse - I don't think it was that they played well, I think we played badly."

Pakistan will next face India on Sunday in New York in a must-win game as USA currently stand top of Group A points table with two wins in two matches. Another loss could see Pakistan making a humiliating early exit from the tournament.

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