India bundled out Pakistan for just 191 during the Cricket World Cup 2023 match in Ahmedabad on Saturday
Legendary Pakistan cricket team pacer Shoaib Akhtar was extremely unhappy with Babar Azam and Co after they were dismissed for just 191 during the Cricket World Cup 2023 match against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
Pakistan looked poised for a good total as Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam stitched together a gritty partnership but they lost wickets in a heap to fall well short of a par score. From 155 for the loss of two wickets, they were all out for 191 and Akhtar rued the loss of opportunity to post a competitive total on a wicket that was batter-friendly.
“What a waste of opportunity on a great batting wicket. Disappointed. Very disappointed,” he posted on X (formerly known as Twitter).
Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah hoodwinked the Pakistan batters with semi-old ball and a bagful of tricks as India restricted arch-rivals to a lowly 191 in 42.5 overs.
This is Pakistan’s second lowest score against India in the ODI World Cup after 180 all-out back in 1999.
The two new ball bowlers made the semi-new ball talk by altering the length and using the wobbly seam to run through a circumspect middle-order and put India on course of their eighth victory in ODI World Cups.
Kuldeep Yadav’s (2/35) role as the supporting protagonist was also laudable as he did his bit in removing Saud Shakeel (6) and Iftikhr Ahmed (4) in quick succession to hasten the slide.
Skipper Rohit Sharma’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss might have raised a few eye-brows but the Indian team always had things under control despite a 72-run third wicket stand between skipper Babar Azam (50 off 58 balls) and Mohammed Rizwan (49 off 69 balls).
It was a matter of one wicket and once Siraj (2/50) got one to just move in a shade from a shorter length, the Pakistan skipper misjudged it completely and remained rooted to his crease trying to steer it to the third man.
The sound of timber was what 100,000 at Motera wanted to hear.
Rizwan, on the cusp of his half-century got a wobbly seam slow off-cutter from Bumrah (2/19 in 7 overs), that entered through the gap between bat and pad as Pakistan’s resistance ended at that moment.
While Pakistan openers Abdullah Shafique (20) and Imam ul Haque (36) had started off well with 41 on the board, Siraj kept one on three quarter length and got that to dart in, catching the former plumb in-front.
Hardik Pandya, who is playing as third seamer, did get hit for a few boundaries as he bowled short initially, before he pitched one up to induce a thick outside edge from Imam.
Babar and Rizwan had a partnership going but if one looks at how the ODI landscape has changed, they were well behind par during the stand.
They scored at five runs per over but the bowling unit did not face the kind of pressure expected against two top class players.
With two new Kookaburras used from both sides, the balls don’t generally get old but the two Indian pacers, on a flat track, altered the length suitably to make the inroads at the right junctures.
(With PTI inputs)