‘We’ll take this confidence forward in the tournament’ – Babar Azam
Captain Babar Azam was rightfully upbeat after Pakistan completed another run chase with minimum fuss to leave themselves well-placed in Super 12s Group 2.
Pakistan restricted New Zealand, opening their tournament with a tough assignment, to just 134 for 8.
It was yet again the Pakistan bowlers that put them in charge of the contest, tying New Zealand down up front and seeing a steady stream of wickets fall as a result.
While Shaheen Afridi was the star against India, this time his new ball partner Haris Rauf put in an impactful turn.
Despite doing well to keep New Zealand beneath 140, Babar felt they let the Black Caps off the hook a little, and gifted them 10 runs in the skipper’s estimation.
“It’s always good to win, we’ll take this confidence forward in the tournament. The way the bowlers, Shaheen and Haris Rauf especially bowled was very impressive,” Babar said. “I think we gave them 10 runs too many, but it’s cricket and that can happen.
Babar and Mohammad Rizwan were able to power Pakistan home all alone on Sunday but this time they required middle order men Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik to also put in a shift.
“We lost wickets early, but I want to give credit to Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali. Every game is crucial. We want to take it game by game and do well in all departments of the game,” Babar concluded.
Babar Azam’s team worth watching
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was happy to see his bowlers make a game of it despite having very little to work with on the scoreboard and feels his team are closing to finding the pace of the T20 World Cup.
“It’s very disappointing. at the end,” Williamson said.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t nail things towards the back end but we were up against a very good side in Pakistan and congratulations to them.
“It’s quite clear as soon as we missed our lengths that there was some value for our shots. It’s a very strong Pakistan side and certainly one to watch. It’s the way it goes, the margins are small. We’ll pick ourselves up and be ready for the next challenge.”
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