June 17 (India Today) – Pakistan failed to dilute their dismal World Cup record versus India in Manchester on Sunday when they fell to an 89-run defeat – their 7th successive loss to the arch-rivals in the tournament’s history. India were ahead in all departments of the game as they posted a mammoth 336/5 after being invited to bat. In reply, Pakistan could only muster 212/6 in 40 overs as rain stopped play.
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar expressed his frustration after the defeat via a video on his Youtube channel, launching a scathing attack on captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and bowler Hasan Ali. Akhtar pointed out that Sarfaraz appeared a ‘brainless’ skipper when he opted to field first after winning the toss.
“The mistakes committed by the Indian team during the Champions Trophy 2017 final were repeated by Pakistan yesterday. I can’t understand how Sarfaraz can be so brainless. How could he forget that we don’t chase very well. Knowing our strength, which is bowling, is important. The game was half-won by Pakistan when Sarfaraz won the toss, but he tried hard to lose the match. Toss was very crucial and even if Pakistan had made 260, with their bowling, they could have defended it. So I think it was just brainless captaincy. It’s a very saddening and disheartening performance from the Pakistan team captain. I wanted to see shades of Imran Khan in him but it’s too late for him now,” lamented Akhtar.
Akhtar also singled out pacer Hasan Ali – who went for 84 off his 9 overs – as one of the culprits of Sunday’s tie saying that he felt Hasan was only interested in playing T20s and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) while not putting enough effort when it matters.
“Hasan Ali, who never shies away from jumping around at the Wagah border, couldn’t apply himself when it mattered the most. Many of his deliveries were short-pitched. His mindset seems to be: I want to keep playing T20s and the PSL. But in the World Cup 2019, we can see that he has not shown any pace or swing that could trouble batsmen,” said Akhtar.
For Pakistan Mohammed Amir was the standout performer on the day picking up 3 wickets while leaking just 47 runs off his 10 overs but they couldn’t find someone to play a similar role while chasing.