T20 World Cup 2021 | Hasan Ali's dropped opportunity was the turning point, says Babar Azam after Pakistan lose to Australia
Pakistan lose to Australia by five wickets on Thursday in Dubai|
After Pakistan lose to Australia by five wickets in the semi-final clash on Thursday in Dubai, captain Babar Azam has admitted that the dropped catch of Matthew Wade by Hasan Ali was the turning point in the match. Wade struck a hat-trick of sixes in the 19th over to complete the run chase.
After being asked to bat first, Pakistan started off well as opneres Babar Azam (39) and Mohammad Rizwan partnered for a 71-run stand before the former departed in the 10th over. Australian spinners, Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell restricted the run flow in the middle, but brisk fifties from Rizwan (67) and Fakhar Zaman (52*), helped Pakistan to register a total of 176/4.
Defending the target Pakistan were in a strong position as they scalped five wickets for a total of 96 runs courtesy of a brilliant spell from Shadab Khan. Shadab clinched the wickets of David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, and Glenn Maxwell, while conceding just 26 in an impressive four-over spell. However, Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis stitched a match-winning 81-run partnership and sealed Australia's pot in the T20 World Cup 2021 final. Pakistan had 20 to defend off the last 10 balls, but pacer Hasan Ali dropped Matthew Wade on the boundary line in the 19th over, and the Australian wicketkeeper-batsman then smashed a hat-trick sixes during the Shaheen Afridi over to claim a five-wicket win over the Babar Azam-led side.
Reflecting on the match, Pakistan Captain Babar Azam reckoned that Hasan Ali's dropped opportunity, which could have sent Wade back to the dug-out, was the turning point in the match.
“I thought we scored as many runs as we had planned in the first innings. I think if we give such teams a chance in the back end, it is going to be costly. The turning point was that dropped catch. Had we taken it, the scenario could have been different,” he said in the post-match presentation.
Pakistan won against strong opponents like India and New Zealand in the Super 12 satge. Also, the Babar Azam-led side were the only team to advance from the Super 12 stage without losing any fixture.
Sharing his views on the team’s journey in the tournament, Babar said that he is satisfied as a captain with the performance of his squad.
“The way we gelled and played the entire tournament, I am satisfied as a captain. Hopefully we'll learn from this for the next tournament. When you play so well throughout, there were small mistakes that cost us the match in the end. We gave players roles and they executed it really well. The way the crowds supported us, we enjoyed a lot as a team. We always enjoy playing here,” he remarked.