On Tuesday, Pakistan captain Babar Azam delivered another brilliant performance in the first ODI of the series against the Netherlands.
After opener Imam-ul-Haq (2) fell early in the innings, Babar scored 74 off 85 deliveries, forging a 168-run stand with Fakhar Zaman.
Fakhar scored a century (109) as Pakistan scored a strong 314/6. In Hazelaarweg, the visitors eventually won by 16 runs.
On a length delivery from Logan van Beek, Babar was dismissed while playing a big short. He miscued the ball close to the body in the air near mid-off, where Tom Cooper took an easy catch.
Babar Azam Does Not Need To Hear The Outside Noise: Shahid Afridi
Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi was dissatisfied with the dismissal, insisting that the star batter should have scored a century.
“Ball keeps swinging there. Babar and Fakhar played an outstanding inning. But I rate Babar highly, so I think it was a good opportunity for him to score a hundred. There was no need to play a shot like that. Fakhar was playing with him. I liked his innings too,” Afridi said on Samaa TV.
In response, the reporter in the conversation said that Babar is in a difficult situation because if he plays it safe, people will accuse him of being selfish. If he tries to up the ante, they will accuse him of being careless.
“I think even Babar would be upset with this – ‘if I play slow, people would say ”he is playing a selfish inning.” If I play fast, people would say “he could have scored a hundred”.’ What should he do then?” the reporter asked Afridi.
“I don’t think Babar needs to take pressure over these things. He doesn’t need to bother himself with what other people are saying. His performance speaks for himself. And he is playing brilliantly. I just said that when Fakhar plays like that, you don’t need to take chances. I only wanted him to score a hundred,” said Afridi.
Pakistan would be hoping to clinch the series on Friday.