Babar Azam blames Shaheen Afridi and his bowlers for embarrassing defeat to Ireland

Babar Azam Shaheen Afridi

Pakistan white-ball captain Babar Azam reflected on his team’s shocking five-wicket loss against Ireland in the first of a three-match T20I series in Dublin.

The visitors came into the series after drawing 2-2 against a third New Zealand team in a 5-match T20I series. And yesterday, instead of putting in a better performance, Babar Azam’s XI surrendered against Paul Stirling’s Ireland. Pakistan has a chance to turn the series around in the remaining 2 T20Is.

Babar Azam targets bowlers for defeat, calls for better efforts on the field

Babar Azam might have been furious deep down after the embarrassing defeat against a team, which is number one in the world. 11 in the ICC men’s team T20I rankings. Although his own performance and intention were also questionable, Babar decided to throw his players under the bus and also asked for better efforts from his players during fielding.

After winning the toss, Pakistan were put in to bat first with Saim Ayub and Mohammad Rizwan coming out to open and Babar Azam coming in at 3. Rizwan was sent back to the crease after scoring just 1 run off 4 balls with Babar and Ayub then setting up formed an 87-run partnership for the second wicket. Ayub was dismissed for 45 off 29 in the 12th over.

Babar Azam then scored a very slow 57 off 43 with a poor strike rate of 132, and Fakhar Zaman scored 20 off 18. Batsman Azam Khan departed for a 2-ball duck on his return to the side as Shadab Khan was running. -out for 0 for 1. Quickfire 37 and 14 by Iftikhar Ahmed and Shaheen Afridi helped Pakistan score 183 target.

From the batting front, Babar claimed that his team had got off to a poor start in the powerplay and despite recovering well in the latter stages, 182 was simply not enough. “We didn’t start well in the first 6 overs; the pitch was a bit two-paced and had some bounce. We recovered well after that and got 182, but I think 190 was a par score.” – Babar said during the post-match.

Babar targets Shaheen and other bowlers

Babar Azam then lashed out at his players of the day: Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Imad Wasim, Abbas Afridi and Shadab Khan. The Pakistan captain claimed that the bowlers along with the team’s fielding were the main reason for his loss. He added that the inaccuracy in bowling sloppy attempts during fielding has to improve in the future.

“But I think we lost because of bowling and fielding. We didn’t execute our plans and we had some mistakes in the field that cost us.” – Babar concluded.

Chance of recovery in 2nd and 3rd T20I

Pakistan still has a lot to play for in the series despite losing the first match. In tomorrow’s second T20I, Pakistan could put up their best performance in recent months and on May 14 they will have a chance to finish the series 2-1.