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Would’ve played with match-winning mindest if my wicket hadn’t fell: Babar Azam

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  • Babar Azam plays captain’s knock of 196 runs to draw Karachi Test.
  • “Credit to Abdullah Shafiq for the way he played,” Babar says.
  • Babar says Pakistan to learn from mistakes ahead of Lahore Test.

KARACHI: Pakistan captain Babar Azam has revealed that Pakistan would have gone with the mindset of chasing the mammoth target against Australia if they had not lost his wicket a post-tea.

Pakistan managed to draw the 2nd Test against Australia after surviving 171.4 overs — the most by a team to draw a five-day-Test as they scored 443-7 at the close of play chasing the target of 506.

Pakistan were earlier bowled out for 148 in the first innings and were 21 for 2 in the second innings but Babar Azam played a match-saving inning of 196 following his patient partnerships with Abdullah Shafiq and Mohammad Rizwan.

They needed 196 runs from 36 overs in the last session of play with six wickets in hands and, at that moment, there was a sight of intent before Babar lost his wicket, which was followed by wickets of Faheem Ashraf and Sajid Khan.

That moment panicked many — but Babar was unfazed.

“I didn’t panic despite our team losing back-to-back wickets because I was confident that the tail-enders are capable enough of saving this match,” Babar said after the historic draw in Karachi.

“We wanted to play normally till tea and then see the situation post-tea. I think if I had not lost my wicket, we would’ve opted for the mindset to chase the target,” he said.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam speaks to journalists after the second Pakistan-Australia Test match in Karachi, on March 16, 2022. — Photo by author
Pakistan captain Babar Azam speaks to journalists after the second Pakistan-Australia Test match in Karachi, on March 16, 2022. — Photo by author

Babar said that after a dismal show in the first innings, he tried to motivate his team and told them that what’s done is done and Pakistan can still save this match.

He said that he was focused on imparting a sense of self-belief among the players ahead of the second innings.

“Credit to Abdullah Shafiq for the way he played. He showed amazing patience and played a very important knock today which helped the team, and then towards the end, Muhammad Rizwan played a brilliant knock,” Babar said.

“I am happy to play the knock that I played, as this knock holds very value for me because the team needed it and it helped Pakistan save the Test match,” the Pakistani captain said.

He said that the pitch offered the same reverse and spin to both the bowlers, there was not much swing even in the first innings but Pakistan lost wickets to soft dismissals and by committing mistakes.

He said that team will try to learn from mistakes and will do even better in Lahore Test.

“We will try to convert our goods into our best and learn from the mistakes that we made in this match ahead of the Lahore Test,” the Pakistani captain said.

Replying to a question, Babar Azam said he hoped that the 3rd Test in Lahore would produce results.

“We will think about our strategy once we are in Lahore and see the pitch there,” Azam concluded.

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Rise in ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Rankings for Pakistani Players

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam moved up the T20I batting rankings to take third place after scoring 33 runs off of just 10 balls in Tuesday’s nail-biting run chase against Canada. In contrast, Mohammad Rizwan, who batted at wicketkeeper, retired to fourth place.

In the bowling rankings, returning pacer Mohammad Amir rose 65 places to 82nd, and Naseem Shah climbed 21 places to joint-thirty-third.

Also, left-arm spinner Imad Wasim stormed up the rankings, taking 34th position. While Shadab fell three spots to fourteenth, Imad rose one spot to eleventh in the T20I all-rounder rankings.

The ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Bowling Rankings have Pakistan’s star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi falling to number twelve, despite the fact that he has not played up to his usual standards. The right-handed speedster Haris Rauf, on the other hand, fell two spots to 36th.

After taking two wickets in a Twenty20 International match against New Zealand, Afghanistan’s veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi was named the “big winner” in the most recent rankings update by the major cricketing organization.

As a result of his recent two-wicket haul against New Zealand in Guyana, the 39-year-old Mohammad Nabi jumped to the No. 1 slot on the list for all-rounders, making him the clear winner in the latest rankings update, according to a press statement from the ICC.

In the wake of a massive shuffle at the top of the T20I rankings for all-rounders, Nabbila improves by two spots to take first place, with Marcus Stoinis of Australia climbing three spots to take second place and Shakib Al Hasan falling four spots to fifth.

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A petition has been filed criticizing the cricket team’s bad performance in the T20 World Cup.

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A lawyer in Gujranwala has submitted a formal request to the court, urging for legal measures to be taken in response to the substandard performance of the national cricket team.

The petition has been lodged in the court of the district and sessions judge, citing sections 22A and 22B of the Pakistan Penal Code. It identifies all individuals involved, including captain Babar Azam, team management, and the coach, as parties.

The petitioner voiced profound apprehension at the underwhelming performance of the national cricket team, deeming it a squandering of funds and a breach of the nation’s confidence. The petition alleges that the team jeopardized millions of rupees and the nation’s integrity, claiming that the players and team management chose financial gain over the honor of the country.

In addition, the petition emphasizes the significant emotional distress experienced by individuals during matches against America and India, considering these performances to be particularly offensive. The user is requesting a suspension of the team until a detailed investigation is carried out by the interior secretary and a comprehensive report is finalized.

The petitioner further condemns the intrusion of political personalities in the team’s matters, contending that whenever political selections are made as coaches and chairmen, it results in the team’s decline.

The court has instructed the police to respond to the petition by June 21.

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Mohammad Rizwan has achieved an undesirable record in the T20 World Cup.

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Pakistan achieved the target of 107 runs with only three wickets lost and 15 balls remaining, thanks to a solid half-century by Rizwan.

The right-handed batsman achieved an undefeated score of 53 runs from an equal number of deliveries, including three boundaries and one six. This is the initial fifty runs scored by a Pakistani batsman in the current tournament.

Nevertheless, Rizwan required 52 deliveries to achieve his fifty runs, making it the most time-consuming half-century in the whole T20 World Cup’s history.

South Africa’s David Miller previously held the record for scoring a half-century in 50 balls against the Netherlands at the same stadium.

Rizwan commenced the batting for Pakistan alongside Saim Ayub (6), but they were unable in providing the Pakistani team with a satisfactory beginning when Ayub lost his wicket in the fifth over, leaving the team with a mere 20 runs on the scoreboard.

Subsequently, Skipper Babar Azam joined Rizwan on the batting crease, and the pair effectively guided the team’s pursuit of runs with a resilient partnership. Babar and his partner contributed 63 runs for the second wicket until Babar was dismissed by Dilon Heyliger in the 15th over.

He achieved a scoring rate of one run per ball, accumulating a total of 33 runs, aided by a single boundary and a six.

Mohammad Rizwan briefly collaborated with Fakhar Zaman, who only managed to score four runs and was out on the second delivery of the 18th over, with the team needing just three more runs to win.

Usman Khan secured victory for Pakistan by elegantly directing the ball towards the midwicket area, resulting in a two-run score.

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