Pakistan, up against the very improbable task of beating Bangladesh by 311 runs to qualify for the World Cup semifinals, managed to score only 315/9 in their 50 overs at Lord’s in London on Friday. This would mean that Pakistan would need to bowl out Bangladesh for seven runs in the second innings.
The Pakistan team’s ‘lack of intent’ in not trying to post a massive total has left some fans and former cricketers disappointed.
Sharjeel Khan, a former Pakistan international who is serving a five-year ban on spot-fixing charges, seemed to accuse opener Fakhar Zaman of not even playing at his normal strike rate. “Fakhar is not playing his natural game I don’t know why,” he tweeted during the match.
Zaman, who has an ODI strike rate of 97.11, could only manage 13 off 31 balls in the match.
Ravichandran Ashwin also wrote about the impossibility of the task at hand for Pakistan. Replying to a fan who said that “not even Mankading” could help Pakistan battle the odds, he suggested that the only way for Pakistan to win would be to “make about 350 and (have) 10 runs outs at the bowlers end”
Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, speaking at a press conference on the eve of the match, had said that Pakistan would do everything possible to overhaul New Zealand’s net run rate. However, he had also admitted that his team would need nothing short of a miracle and that his team’s first priority would be to win the match.
Speaking after the innings, Imam-ul-Haq, the highest scorer of the day for Pakistan, said, “We had to be realistic. 400 is something that was difficult if we assess the conditions properly.”
Some former Pakistan cricketers had earlier questioned the ‘lack of intent’ showed by New Zealand and India in their matches against England. Waqar Younis had said that India failed to show ‘sportsmanship’ in their defeat to England, when a win could have meant doing a favour for Pakistan’s semifinal chances.