- Oct 4, 2023
- Apr 17, 2023
Pakistan did not have a good outing in the fourth match, which was held at Christchurch. The Men in Blue could not get going with the bat and crumbled for just 130 for 7 in their 20 overs. The opening combination of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan went early and the middle-order could not withstand the pressure as it failed to step up, once again.
Asif Ali made an unbeaten 25 off 20 deliveries, but it wasn’t enough for Pakistan to make a flying finish in the end. The Blackcaps hunted down the target in 16.1 overs in Christchurch, with Finn Allen scoring 62 off 42 deliveries. Devon Conway remained unbeaten on 49.
The former Pakistan off spinner, Saeed Ajmal expressed his thoughts on the game and came down heavily on the Pakistan’s middle-order for their poor batting performance. He spoke at length about Iftikhar Ahmed, who according to Ajmal started his innings in an MS Dhoni-like fashion but did not finish in the same way.
“Iftikhar MS Dhoni ki tarah khel raha hai par end me vo nahi kar paata jo MS karta tha ki pehle single le le, aur end pe aake chhakke maarke compensate kar liya. Iftikhar sahab start me 10 ball khaa jaate hain, Shan Masood 5-7 ball pehle aake khaa jaate hain. Saare batters aise hi ball khaate hain, fir recover karne ke liye hit maarte hain aur out hoke bahar chala jaata hai. (Iftikhar plays like MS Dhoni but couldn’t end the innings like MS used to. (MS) used to take singles and hit sixes towards the end to compensate for them. Here, Iftikhar plays 10 dot balls, Shan Masood plays 5-7 dot balls, and when they try to recover by hitting big shots, they get out.),” Ajmal said on his official YouTube channel as he criticised the knock.
“27 ball pe 27 run banaaye hain aur last over me out ho jaate hain. Aap kidhar stand karte hain? (Iftikhar scored 27 runs off as many balls and he got out in the last over. Where do you stand?),” he further stated.
Pakistan’s middle order woes were seen in the Asia Cup where their middle-order did not click in the multilateral tournament and the same was highlighted in their recent 4-3 series loss to England at home.