'Nightmare tournament': Shoaib Akhtar lashes out at Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan after Pakistan's Asia Cup final defeat

Updated on Sep 12, 2022 05:12 PM IST

After Pakistan's Asia Cup 2022 final defeat vs Sri Lanka, Shoaib Akhtar lashed out at Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan for their performance in Dubai on Sunday.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan in action for Pakistan.(AP)
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan in action for Pakistan.(AP)

Pakistan were in disappointing form as they crashed to a defeat against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2022 final, in Dubai on Sunday. The Babar Azam-led side were second-best in all departments against the hosts and were also on the receiving end of plenty of criticism from former player Shoaib Akhtar. The legendary pacer called it a 'nightmare tournament' for Babar as a batter and also lashed out at Mohammad Rizwan's approach in the final.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote, "That ends a nightmare tournament for Babar as a batter. Same disaster for Fakhar."

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"This combination is not working. Pakistan has to look into a lot of things. Fakhar, Iftikhar, Khushdil all need to be looked into. And Rizwan, 50 off 50 is not going to work anymore. Doesn't benefit Pakistan. Hats off to Sri Lanka. What a team", he also added.

Babar has been in poor batting form for Pakistan in the continental showpiece and could only register five runs off six balls during the chase in the final. The sole responsibility of Pakistan's batting during the tournament fell on Rizwan, who had a poor outing on Sunday. The wicketkeeper-batter played a knock of 55 runs off 49 balls as Pakistan failed to chase a target of 171 runs.

A four-wicket haul from Pramod Madushan helped Sri Lanka bowl out Pakistan for 147 in 20 overs. Meanwhile, Wanindu Hasaranga took three wickets and Chamika Karunaratne bagged two dismissals. Initially, Bhanuka Rajapaksa slammed an unbeaten knock of 71 runs off 45 balls to help Sri Lanka reach 170 for six in 20 overs. Meanwhile, Hasaranga contributed with the bat too, slamming 36 runs off 21 balls.

After Pakistan's defeat, Babar said, "Congratulations to Sri Lanka for playing outstanding cricket. We dominated them for the first eight overs, but the partnership that Rajapaska got was amazing. This was a true wicket and it is always nice playing in Dubai. We didn't bat according to our potential. We started well, but we gave away 15-20 extra runs and couldn't finish well."

"A lot of positives for us to take. In a final, the margin for mistakes is lesser. Our fielding wasn't up to the mark and the batting couldn't finish it off well. But Rizwan, Naseem and Nawaz were positives. Ups and downs will be there, but it would be nicer if we made lesser mistakes."

Meanwhile, Rizwan felt Sri Lanka took advantage of Pakistan's mistakes. "They played like true champions, they deserve the win. They put us under pressure at key moments and won the match despite losing the toss. We committed mistakes and Sri Lanka took advantage of that. They took the momentum away from us towards the end in both the innings", he said.

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