- Dec 10, 2023
- Jul 13, 2023
The Asia Cup 2023 moves into a pivotal phase as Pakistan and Sri Lanka play each other on Thursday. The game is particularly important for both teams considering there is a chance to make it to the final. The winners will take on India in the final on Sunday. Team India made it to the final with a 41-run win over Sri Lanka on Tuesday. After India’s win over Sri Lanka, a few fans from Pakistan took to social media. The notion mooted was that India had fared poorly with the bat to dent Pakistan’s chances. India before the game had a healthy run rate of +4.7 after their thumping 228-run win.
Former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar has now come out and lashed out at such notions. After hearing the chatter of India doing poorly to dent Pakistan’s chances, former Pakistan pace legend Shoaib Akhtar saw red. While speaking on his YouTube Channel, Shoaib Akhtar said “I’m receiving messages that India have fixed the game, they’re playing badly so that Pakistan gets knocked out. Are you guys out of your minds? They’re (Sri Lanka) bowling their hearts out”
Shoaib Akhtar also praised young Dunith Wellalage when he said “Wellalage bowled really well. He scored 43. Suddenly, I’m getting phone calls that India are losing so that Pakistan can get eliminated. Man, why would they lose? They could’ve reached the final with a win and they did. Absolute nonsense” The Pakistan pace legend also had words of praise for the Indian bowlers. Shoaib Akhtar singled out Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah for their efforts while defending 214 run target. “Great fightback from India. Kuldeep is an asset. Look at Jasprit Bumrah, look at the fight while defending such a small total”
While comparing Wellalage with his own players, Shoaib Akhtar spoke about the fighting spirit shown by Sri Lanka. “Wellalage, 20-years-old kid. He’s bowling and batting as well. There’s a fight there. I didn’t see this fight in our players. See, you can’t blame our fast bowlers. They don’t play regular ODI cricket, and then you expect Haris, Naseem, and Shaheen to bowl 10 overs and not get injured.”
Shoaib Akhtar ended by saying he wanted to see the Pakistan team give a fight while chasing. “All I want is a fight from Asia Cup. At least chase 300 runs. Reach at least 275. You gave too soon. That was humiliating” Pakistan needs to win against Sri Lanka in a bid to meet India in the final. In case the rain plays spoilsport, Sri Lanka will make it to the finals on Sunday. The reason is that Pakistan’s net run rate took a beating after the huge loss to India.