Pakistan skipper Babar Azam admits that Hasan Ali’s drop catch was the turning point in the match.
After being asked to bat first, Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam gave a dream start to Pakistan. The two put up 71 runs on the board in the first 10 overs of the game. Eventually Babar Azam departed after scoring 39 off 34 deliveries. Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman took the innings forward and kept the scoreboard moving. Mohammad Rizwan scored 67(52) while Fakhar Zaman scored 55(32).
While defending the total of 176, Pakistan picked up 5 wickets for 96 and were in a convincing position to win the match. Shadab Khan removed David Warner, Mitchell Marsha, Steve Smith and Gleen Maxwell and conceded only 26 runs. However, it wasn’t enough as Matthew Wade and Marcos Stoinis stitched a match winning partnership of 81 runs and booked the semi-final spot for Australia.
Australia needed 20 runs in 10 balls when Hasan Ali dropped Matthew Wade’s catch in the boundary line in the 19th over of the match. Matthew Wade’s drop catch costed the match for Pakistan as he went on to hit three straight sixes off Shaheen Afridi’s over to claim a 5 wicket win for his side.
Skipper Babar Azam backed the right arm pacer after the match as he is one his main bowlers.
“I don’t feel like that. He is our main bowler and has won many matches for Pakistan. Players do drop catches sometimes. He is fighting it out and I will keep backing him. Every player cannot perform in every game. Some individuals who are having a good day try to make the most of it and come up with good performances,” Babar said in the post-match press conference.
“Yes, he is a bit down. We will keep backing him and giving him confidence. People will say a lot of things, but we are behind him,” he added.
“I thought we scored as many runs as we had planned in the first innings. I think if we give such teams a chance in the back end, it is going to be costly. The turning point was that dropped catch. Had we taken it, the scenario could have been different,” he said in the post-match presentation.
Babar Azam added that his side had a came a long way through the tournament and his completely satisfied with the team’s performance.
“The way we gelled and played the entire tournament, I am satisfied as a captain. Hopefully we’ll learn from this for the next tournament. When you play so well throughout, there were small mistakes that cost us the match in the end. We gave players roles and they executed it really well. The way the crowds supported us; we enjoyed a lot as a team. We always enjoy playing here,” he remarked.