T20 World Cup: A score between 160-170 would have been a fighting total for Pakistan, says Inzamam-ul-Haq


Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq feels that if the Babar Azam-led side would have got a score between 160-170 in the Men’s T20 World Cup final against England at the MCG, it would have been a fighting total.

He also rued that Pakistan didn’t get a sizeable amount of runs from the death overs phase, though he was appreciative of the fight shown by the bowlers with the ball.

After being pushed into batting first, Pakistan lost Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Mohammad Haris cheaply. Though Shadab Khan and Shan Masood were resurrecting the innings, Pakistan never got to break free as England bowled amazingly to keep them in check.

In the last five overs, Pakistan could only make 31 runs as the batters perished in search for the big hits and ended up at a below-par 137/8 in their 20 overs, which was chased down by England in 19 overs.

“It is a bit disappointing that Pakistan had a great opportunity to win the World Cup but they could not win. I must appreciate the boys as coming into the final is no small effort and it’s a big achievement to be at that stage from where the boys were at the start.

“I understand the score was less than par. Pakistan played well till the 15-16th over. But they failed to make those extra 20-25 runs in the last four-five overs. I believe a score between 160 and 170 would have been a fighting total.

“England would have been under a lot of pressure chasing such a score. Pakistani bowlers made a fine effort. The good thing was that their body language was fantastic. Pakistan could have won the game too (in the final). People were talking about the repeat of the 1992 World Cup and I believed that Pakistan could win,” Haq said on his Youtube channel The Match Winner.

With the ball, Pakistan got three England wickets in power-play, all thanks to their pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf. But were unable to dislodge a gritty Ben Stokes from the crease, who slammed an unbeaten 52 to take England to their second T20 World Cup title.

“In my opinion, I believe Pakistan did not play good cricket. It was a much better team. But the good thing for me in this tournament and in previous occasions is that this team did not give up in any kind of situation, whether the score was small or not. Whatever the situation was, this team fought hard.”

“We saw in the final that a score of 137 was nothing. But the body language of Pakistan’s bowlers was not bad though the final was lost. There will be criticism post this loss but the important thing to be credited is that they fought hard,” added Inzamam.

Inzamam, a 1992 ODI World Cup winner, stated that he would understand the mindset of players right now after losing the final of a major tournament. “We had also lost the 1999 World Cup final. I know how our days were spent post the loss. Hence I understand what these players must be going through after the loss. But I also know the feeling of winning the 1992 World Cup. I know what it feels to win a world cup and what it feels to lose a world cup final.

“The public too understands this now. The major thing was how Pakistan made a comeback in the tournament. From where they were and from where they finished was great. All credit should go to Babar Azam and his team. The best thing was that this team showed a fighting spirit.”

Inzamam concluded by acknowledging the role of the support staff in keeping the team together as a unit. “The team played as a unit and I should congratulate the coaching staff including Saqlain (Mushtaq), (Mohammad) Yousuf, (Matthew) Hayden, and Shaun Tait for that. Their role was huge too; it may not be visible from the outside.

“But gelling the team well, not letting the body language go down, keeping the confidence of players high, which is also a major role played by the support staff. I am sure the team will work hard again, and make the desired changes so that better results can be achieved by this team.”


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