Home Sport Cricket Pakistan skipper apologises for team’s failings at T20 World Cup

Pakistan skipper apologises for team’s failings at T20 World Cup

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Pakistan fell to the tournament’s biggest upset when the US, a tier-two cricketing nation, beat the 2009 champions via a Super Over. Defeat by arch-rivals India then left Babar Azam’s side with a mountain to climb to advance.

Pakistan cricket captain Babar Azam. File Picture: REUTERS, Andrew Boyers

PAKISTAN captain Babar Azam said on Monday that the team’s batting let them down at the World Cup and apologised to fans for failing to reach the Super Eight stage.

Pakistan fell to the tournament’s biggest upset when the US, a tier-two cricketing nation, beat the 2009 champions via a Super Over. Defeat by arch-rivals India then left Babar’s side with a mountain to climb to advance.

India and the US bagged the two Super Eight slots from Group A, while Pakistan finished third after Sunday’s laboured three-wicket victory against Ireland.

“Thank you so much for supporting us, and sorry for that performance,” Babar said after the match in Florida. “I know the fans and the team are saddened by this. It is not any one player’s fault. We all made a mistake.”

Babar had stepped down as captain of all three formats after Pakistan failed to make the knockout stage of the 50-overs World Cup in India last year, but was reinstated as white-ball skipper ahead of the 20-overs showpiece in the US and West Indies.

Amid sub-par performances at the tournament, talk of rifts in the camp surfaced, while the Pakistan Cricket Board’s chief promised “major surgery” on the team after their exit was confirmed last week.

Pakistan’s batting was a huge disappointment as they failed to make the most of the powerplay overs and could not get partnerships established.

“The pitches here helped the fast bowlers a little, but I think overall our batting did not click,” said Babar. “We lost two crucial matches even when we were in charge.”

All-rounder Imad Wasim has said the team needed a complete reset of their approach to white-ball cricket and Babar agreed.

“Every player has to think, because cricket has become very fast. With modern cricket, you must have game awareness,” he said. “You know that the strike rate here is (low) … I think it’s about game awareness and common sense.”

Bangladesh, meanwhile, qualified for the Super Eights after a 21-run victory over Nepal on Monday.

Bangladesh struggled with the bat on a tricky surface at Arnos Vale, making 106 all out in 19.3 overs, but a devastating spell of 4/7 from pace bowler Tanzim Hasan Sakib had Nepal’s reply in big trouble at 26/5.

Nepal recovered, but 3/7 from wily left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman, including a wicket maiden in the penultimate over, secured victory with Nepal bowled out for 85 in 19.2 overs.

“Obviously we’re very happy the way we played this qualifying round and I hope we will continue our bowling performance; not batting, but we hope that our batting will be fine in the next round,” said Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto.

“We obviously saw Tanzim rip through the top order, but it’s backed up with the left arm pace, the leg spin, the slow left arm spin,” he added.

Reuters and AFP

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