Babar Azam blames Shaheen Afridi and his bowlers for the embarrassing defeat vs Ireland

Published - 11 May 2024, 02:44 PM | Updated - 11 May 2024, 02:58 PM

Babar Azam Shaheen Afridi
Babar Azam Shaheen Afridi (Credits: Instagram)

Pakistan's white-ball skipper Babar Azam reflected on his side's shocking 5-wicket loss against Ireland in the 1st of a 3-match T20I series in Dublin. 

The visitors have arrived in the series after playing out a 2-2 draw against a third-string New Zealand team in a 5-match T20I series. And yesterday, instead of coming up with an improved performance, Babar Azam's full-strength playing XI surrendered against Paul Stirling's Ireland. Pakistan does have a chance to turn the series around in the remaining 2 T20Is. 

Babar Azam targets bowlers for the loss and asks for better efforts while fielding 

Babar Azam might have been fuming deep down following the embarrassing loss to a side, which is World no. 11 in the ICC Men's team T20I rankings. Though his own performance and intent were also questionable, Babar decided to throw his bowlers under the bus and also asked for better efforts from his players during fielding.   

After winning the toss, Pakistan were put to bat first with Saim Ayub and Mohammad Rizwan coming out to open and Babar Azam coming in at 3. Rizwan was sent back to the crease after scoring just 1 run off 4 balls with Babar and Ayub then setting up a partnership of 87 runs for the second wicket. Ayub was dismissed for 45 off 29 in the 12th over. 

Then Babar Azam scored a very slow 57 off 43 at a poor strike rate of 132, and Fakhar Zaman scored 20 off 18. Wicket-keeper batsman Azam Khan departed for a 2-ball duck on his return to the side whereas Shadab Khan was run-out for 0 off 1. Iftikhar Ahmed and Shaheen Afridi's quickfire 37 and 14 helped Pakistan post 183 as the target. 

From the batting front, Babar claimed that his side had got off to a poor start in the powerplay and despite recovering well in the later stages, 182 just wasn't enough. "We didn't start well in the first 6 overs; the pitch was a bit two-paced and had some bounce. We recovered well after that and got 182 but I think 190 was a par score." - Babar said during post-match. 

Babar aims a dig at Shaheen and other bowlers 

Babar Azam then lashed out at his bowlers of the day - Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Imad Wasim, Abbas Afridi, and Shadab Khan. The Pakistani skipper claimed that the bowlers along with the team's fielding were the main reason behind their loss. He added that inaccuracy while bowling sloppy attempts during fielding has to improve moving forward. 

"But I think we lost due to the bowling and fielding. We didn't execute our plans and had some sloppy lapses in the field which cost us." - Babar concluded. 

Chance for recovery in the 2nd and 3rd T20I

Pakistan still has a lot to play for in the series despite losing the 1st match. The 2nd T20I tomorrow might see Pakistan turn up with their best performance in the last few months and on 14th May they will have the chance to name the series 2-1. 

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Babar Azam Pakistan national cricket team Pakistan tour of Ireland 2024 IRE vs PAK 2024 Ireland vs Pakistan 2024 Ireland National Cricket Team Shaheen Afridi Naseem Shah