Despite Pakistan’s commendable batting, Abdullah Shafique acknowledged their middle-over struggles and expressed hope for learning from the defeat.

Opener Abdullah Shafique expressed his disappointment with Pakistan’s inability to successfully chase a World Cup record target of 368 runs against Australia. Pakistan faced a 62-run defeat, adding to their two wins and two losses in the tournament so far. Their fielding performance was notably lackluster, as they dropped Australia’s David Warner when he had only scored 10 runs in the fifth over of the match. Warner capitalized on this opportunity, going on to score an impressive 163 runs, while his opening partner, Mitchell Marsh, celebrated his 32nd birthday by contributing 121 runs.

In a post-match conference, Shafique emphasized the significance of the dropped catch by Usama Mir, stating that catches can change the course of a game by leading to wickets and building momentum. He acknowledged the efforts of the fielders but noted that sometimes they fall short in delivering the expected value.

“Catches obviously change a game, you get wickets and you get momentum. All fielders are trying to do their best, but sometimes you don’t get that value,” Shafique said.

In the match, Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq built a strong opening partnership of 134 runs, with Shafique scoring 64 and Haq contributing 70. However, Australia’s leg-spinner, Adam Zampa, proved to be the game-changer, taking 4 wickets for 53 runs in the middle overs.

On a positive note, Shafique praised Pakistan’s bowlers for their excellent performance in the final 10 overs, where they managed to take six wickets while giving away only 70 runs. Shaheen Shah Afridi had a standout performance with 5 wickets for 54 runs, achieving his second five-wicket haul in ODI cricket. Haris Rauf also contributed with 3 wickets for 83 runs, despite conceding 24 runs in his first over.

“Australia played very well, Our batting was also good, but in the middle overs, we couldn’t finish well. As a bowling unit, in the end, we bowled very well. Hopefully, we will learn from this and perform better in the next matches,” he added.

Pakistan’s next challenge is against Afghanistan in Chennai on Monday, October 23.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter