Pakistan Captain Babar Azam Reflects on Team’s Defeat to USA in T20 World Cup Opener

Pakistan captain Babar Azam acknowledged his team’s shortcomings following their loss to the USA in their opening match of the T20 World Cup 2024 at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas on Thursday.

The match culminated in a nail-biting Super Over, with the USA emerging victorious by five runs. During the Super Over, Mohammad Amir bowled first for Pakistan, allowing the USA to score 18-1. Pakistan could only muster 13-1 in response.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, the 29-year-old skipper said, “We failed to capitalise in the first six overs. Losing consecutive wickets always puts you on the back foot. As a batter, you need to step up and build partnerships.”

Babar noted that while the team managed to make a comeback after a challenging initial six overs, they lost momentum again due to quick dismissals. “My partnership with Shadab was promising, but then two wickets fell, and we lost momentum again,” he explained.

He emphasized the need for improvement in the middle order and bowling, stating, “Our score was adequate for this pitch, but we need to enhance our bowling.”

The captain also highlighted the bowlers’ underperformance in the first six overs and stressed the importance of improving for future matches.

Addressing the spinners’ performance, Babar remarked, “Our spinners did not take wickets in the middle overs, and that cost us.”

He acknowledged the USA team’s superior performance in all departments, adding, “All credit to the USA; they played better than us in all three departments.”

The match conditions were also a talking point. Babar noted, “There was a bit of moisture in the pitch, and it was two-paced. As a professional, you need to assess the conditions.”

He concluded with a hopeful note, expressing the team’s intention to make a strong comeback in future matches.

Earlier, India-born left-arm pacer Netravalkar took a miserly 2-18 as Pakistan posted 159/7.

The USA innings ended dramatically when Nitish Kumar hit a four off a last-ball full toss from Haris Rauf, allowing the tournament co-hosts, who had beaten Canada in their opening match, to finish on 159-3.

Pakistan veteran Mohammad Amir was entrusted with the Super Over but bowled several wides, with panic fielding leading to wild overthrows, helping the USA score 18 runs.

Netravalkar bowled a wide with the third ball of his Super Over but with the next delivery, he had Iftikhar Ahmed brilliantly caught low in the deep by Kumar.

With seven needed off the last ball, Shadab Khan was unable to manage the six that would have forced a second Super Over.

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