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Tons of criticism were usually expected every time a team lost a match in arch rivalry India – Pakistan match but for a surprise, Pakistan didn’t receive any bad comments over their defeat against India in the Asia Cup 2022 match.
Moin Khan Praises Pakistan Players
Batting first Pakistan scored 147 runs for 10 wickets loss where Rizwan scored the highest of 43 runs. Hardik with the ball uprooted 3 main wickets like Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Khushdil for 43, 28, and 2 runs.
During the chase, India made an unfavoured start where they lose KL Rahul in the very first over. Soon Rohit Sharma walks out for 12 runs while Virat loses his wicket for 35 runs. At a stage, India was in a need of 41 runs off 24 balls while Hardik and Jadeja pose threat for Pakistan bowlers.
But Jadeja’s wicket in the first ball of the last over made a dramatic situation but Hardik handled it like a pro and hits a six off the 4th delivery and leads India to win the match by 5 wickets.
“The reaction to losing to India has not been the usual criticism because in the build-up to the match the camaraderie shown by players of both teams towards each other was brilliant while our team also fought hard till the final over,” Pakistan’s former captain Moin Khan said.
In Karachi itself, big screens were installed all over the city for the game which ended in a thrilling fashion.
“It was a great match and closely fought and I think the Pakistan team even without Shaheen Shah Afridi performed like a champion. Unfortunately, we missed the services of a fourth pace bowler,” former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim said.
He said had Pakistan scored 15-20 runs more, they could have won the match.
“Our young pace bowlers specially Naseem Shah and Shahnawaz Dahani bowled brilliantly and with so much heart. It was so inspiring to see Naseem completing his final over despite having severe cramps,” Qasim said.
Kamran Akmal Praises Hardik, and Bhuvi
Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal praised the all-round show of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja noting they were the main difference between the two sides.
“I think they performed very well under pressure. Hardik in particular was fabulous in bowling and batting. He is truly a champion all-rounder now,” Kamran said.
Javed, Sikander Bakht Praises Hardik, and Bhuvi
Former pace bowlers Aaqib Javed and Sikander Bakht also praised the performances of Hardik and Bhuvneshwar Kumar saying they had read the pitch well.
“The use of the short pitched ball was well thought out and it paid them rich dividends. The wicket of Babar Azam and Virat Kohli’s dropped catch in the first over of Naseem were key moments,” Aaqib said.
Sikander was critical about the way Haris Rauf had bowled his final two overs. “Instead of trying to bowl yorkers he was trying to go hard length and short pitch against Hardik who is a very good puller of the ball,” he said.
Aaqib said Pakistan’s biggest problem in white ball cricket was that it didn’t have an all-rounder like Hardik who brought so much balance to the Indian side.
— Mayank Agarwal (@mayankcricket) August 28, 2022
Shahid Afridi on India vs Pakistan Match
Former skipper Shahid Afridi noted that when two big and good teams play against each other one can expect a close match.
“But Pakistan performed hard till the end that is a great sign. I thought Naseem and Muhammad Nawaz really bowled well.” Former Test great and head coach Javed Miandad noted that India had executed the plan to dismiss Babar perfectly.
“It is very difficult to get Babar out in the V so they went for the surprise short ball and they got him. Babar not scoring big runs made a big difference. But I think our bowlers really performed well and that is a good sign to have such enthusiastic and energetic pace bowlers.” But former Pakistan greats, Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar had their own take on the match.