'If these are the pitches, Pakistan have to score 400': Ramiz's far-fetched take | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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'If these are the pitches, Pakistan will have to score 400': Ramiz Raja's far-fetched take on 2023 WC after loss to NZ

Oct 01, 2023 11:49 PM IST

New Zealand chased down a 346-run target against Pakistan with over seven overs to spare in the warm-up game on Friday.

In his first match in six months, Kane Williamson displayed his exceptional skills, while Rachin Ravindra shone at the top of the order as New Zealand successfully chased down a challenging target of 346 runs against Pakistan in their opening 2023 World Cup warm-up match. The New Zealand team secured a five-wicket victory in the contest. With the exception of the opening pair, Pakistan's batters, including Mohammad Rizwan (retired hurt after scoring 103 off 91 balls), Babar Azam (80 runs from 84 balls), and Saud Shaukeel (75 runs off 53 balls), showcased their form in the middle overs, allowing their team to post a formidable total of 345 for five in their allotted 50 overs.

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam, left, and Mohammad Rizwan encourage each other during the ICC Cricket World Cup warmup match between New Zealand and Pakistan(AP)
Pakistan's captain Babar Azam, left, and Mohammad Rizwan encourage each other during the ICC Cricket World Cup warmup match between New Zealand and Pakistan(AP)

New Zealand, however, managed to achieve the target in just 43.4 overs, thanks to impressive performances from Rachin Ravindra (who scored 97 runs off 72 balls), Kane Williamson (with 54 runs off 50 balls), Daryl Mitchell (who retired hurt after making 59 runs from 57 balls), and Mark Chapman (remaining unbeaten with 65 runs off 41 balls).

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Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja, who has worked closely with the team during his stint as PCB chairman until last year, wasn't particularly pleased with the side's approach in the game. Ramiz stated that Pakistan need to bat according to the nature of pitches in India, insisting that they will have to score over “400.”

“I know it was just a practice game, but a win is a win. And winning becomes a habit. But I feel Pakistan are now getting a habit of losing. First they lost in Asia Cup, and now here. Pakistan scored 345 and it was a great run-chase. If these are the pitches – and you will get such pitches in India – you will have to score 400 if your bowling keeps misfiring like this. You will have to change your tactics, take risks. And we don't do that. We play defensively for first 10-15 overs and then shift gears,” Ramiz said.

It is worth noting that star fast bowler Shaheen Afridi did not participate in the match, providing an opportunity for Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali to showcase their skills with the new ball.

Haris Rauf, who bowled just a four-over spell, went wicketless and conceded 36 runs. Hasan Ali, making his return to the Pakistan squad after a nine-month absence, had a promising start in his opening spell but struggled to contain runs as the New Zealand innings progressed.

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