Melbourne [Australia], November 13 (ANI): Following their team’s five-wicket loss to England in the final of ICC T20 World Cup 2022, Pakistan fans, though proud of their side’s journey to the final, expressed their heartbreak on Men in Green’s loss and especially the slow knock played by their skipper Babar Azam in such a high-stakes match.
Top performances from Sam Curran and Ben Stokes powered England to their second ICC T20 World Cup title after 2010, as they defeated Pakistan by five wickets in a gripping low-scoring final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday.
“The game was good. But the target was low as it was England they were playing against. The target should have been atleast 160-170. Well done Pakistan. They fought well. Wins and losses are part of the game. England has a stronger batting line up. Babar Azam should not have played like that, but there was pressure on him as a skipper,” A fan Shehroz said told ANI.
Another fan said that though Pakistan bowlers are world-class, their batting needs some fixes.
“There are problems in Pakistan’s batting. Bowlers are world-class. Haris Rauf is a great player, he played well. I am a cricket lover, but Pakistan needs to change their batting order. There are issues with Babar, he does not want to come down. He and Shan Masood can stabilise the innings. You have to hit in powerplay, like 50 runs. Otherwise we are proud of our team,” said the fan.
Another fan Abdul also said that though he is happy that Pakistan reached the final, he is just as heartbroken for their loss.
“We are happy to reach finals but sad about losing. We played well. Bowlers tried to make a comeback. Hopefully, the next World Cup will be ours. Our captain Babar is coming back into the runs. He should have gone much longer and scored,” he said.
Another enthusiast Naim said that Shaheen Afridi’s injury was a turning point for Pakistan psychologically.
“Pakistan played well, but England is a strong team. 138-140 runs were not enough. Having 170-180 would have been good. Shan tried his best to anchor the innings, but nobody else could perform. Bowling was outstanding. At one point we expected Pakistan to win. But Shaheen walking off due to injury was a turning point psychologically,” he said.
“We are happy that we got to the finals, we were lucky. Babar is not performing the way he is known for. But everyone goes out of the form. We have Haris (Mohammad Haris) and Shan Masood who can open the innings. He (Babar) is more of an ODI and Test player. But he has got good starts in t20Is. Also, the pitch and weather were different. He (Babar) managed boys well. He brought in Mohammad Haris, which was a great decision,” the fan concluded.
Shaheen Afridi seemingly injured his knee after picking up Harry Brook’s catch in the 13th over. He returned and tried to bowl, but could not continue. He could bowl for only 2.1 overs out of his four overs.
Another fan Alvina lauded her side for performing well despite losing the first two matches, but felt that Babar led his side down a bit and the side should have started stronger with their willow.
“Runs were low, but they (Pakistan bowlers) gave England a run for their money. Haris Rauf was amazing. The crowd supported the team. We are proud of them,” she added.
Another Pakistan fan was critical of slow batting by Babar and Mohammad Rizwan, “We are disappointed, our hopes were high to bring down England. We tried our best but. We did not make the best use of Powerplay. There is some issue with Babar Azam and Rizwan, they are playing quite slow.”
On the other hand, there were some England fans, who were extremely ecstatic about their team’s title win and the fact that it holds 50-over and 20-over World Cups at the same time.
James said, “I am very ecstatic. I love England. I love Ben Stokes, I love Sam Curran. I am so happy right now. He is just so good, we can always count on Stokes to win us games.”
Another fan Will said, “Overjoyed. I cannot say much. We have been waiting for England to get the job done. But now, we came here in Australia and won it, we are ecstatic. I am speechless.”
Some unnamed fans also shouted loudly with joy that they will celebrate the title win with some crumpets and tea.
Coming to the match, put to bat first by England, Pakistan was reduced to 137/8 in 20 overs. Shan Masood (38) and skipper Babar Azam (32) scored most of their side’s runs.
Sam Curran (3/12) was the leading bowler for England in the finals. Spinner Adil Rashid (2/22) and pacer Chris Jordan (2/27) also got some crucial wickets. Ben Stokes got one wicket.
Chasing 138, England was reduced to 45/3 in 5.3 overs. But a 48-run stand between Ben Stokes (52* off 49 balls with five fours and a six) and Moeen Ali (19 off 13 balls) swung the game in England’s favour and they won their second title, their first since 2010.
Haris Rauf (2/23) was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan. Shaheen, Wasim and Shadab picked one each.
Curran clinched the ‘Man of the Match’ for his match-winning spell in the finals.
Brief score: Pakistan: 137/8 (Shan Masood 38, Babar Azam 32; Sam Curran 3-12) vs England: 138/5 (Ben Stokes 52*, Jos Buttler 26, Haris Rauf 2/23). (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.