In the aftermath of Pakistan‘s demoralizing loss to Afghanistan, former cricketer Waqar Younis has made a significant statement. Pakistan’s campaign in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 has been dealt a severe blow, suffering their third consecutive defeat, this time at the hands of Afghanistan in Chennai on Monday (October 23).
Pakistan’s batting performance and Afghanistan’s target chase
Opting to bat first, the Men in Green relied on noteworthy performances from Babar Azam, who scored 74, and Abdullah Shafique, who notched up 58. Additional contributions from Iftikhar Ahmed (40) and Shadab Khan (40) enabled Pakistan to post 282/7 on the scoreboard.
However, Afghanistan exhibited exceptional composure under pressure, successfully chasing down the target with eight wickets in hand and an over to spare. The opening duo of Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65) and Ibrahim Zadran (87) laid the foundation with an impressive 130-run stand. Rahmat Shah (77 not out) and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (48 not out) guided Afghanistan to a commanding victory.
Waqar Younis’s substantial statement on Pakistan’s performance
In the wake of this disheartening defeat, Waqar, the former cricketing stalwart, did not mince words in his assessment of Pakistan’s performance. He voiced concerns about Pakistan’s on-field attitude and the evident disarray in their game.
“That’s not the Pakistan team. I know you know. The attitude was totally missing zero out there. There was no method. It was just you Ball, you ball. You know, we’re not going to field and we’re sitting on the heels. There was so much to sort of. We can sit down here all night and criticize because they have provided us so much to talk about,” Waqar said to Star Sports.
Praise for Afghanistan’s composure under pressure
Furthermore, Waqar praised Afghanistan for their remarkable display, particularly their ability to maintain their composure in a high-pressure encounter.
“It is very hurting. But I’m very happy for Afghanistan. Also, don’t forget because you know they deserve it. The way they handled the pressure, the way they played cricket. I’m happy for them. I am gutted because you know what I’ve seen today,” the 51-year-old added.
Babar Azam issues critical remarks on Pakistan’s performance
After the match, Babar provided insights into different aspects of the game and elaborated on the factors that led to his team’s third consecutive defeat in the ongoing tournament. Babar expressed his disappointment, stating that the team’s inability to take wickets during the middle overs in bowling and conceding boundaries in the field had cost them the match.
“This hurts us. We had a good total. In the bowling, we aren’t up to the mark because we are not taking wickets in the middle overs. In the World Cup, if you are not good in even one department, then you’ll lose the match. In the field, we didn’t stop boundaries and gave away runs, which cost us. Bowling – we started well, in the middle overs, we needed wickets but we couldn’t take any wickets,” Babar said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Pakistan’s semi-final hopes and upcoming match against South Africa
This loss places Pakistan on the precipice of elimination, with a challenging task ahead to secure a spot in the semi-finals. They must win their remaining four games and hope for favorable results in other games. Pakistan’s next fixture is against South Africa in Chennai on October 27, where they face a critical juncture in their World Cup journey.