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Babar, Shafique open up after defeat against Australia



Australia beat Pakistan by 62 runs in a high-scoring World Cup group game on Friday to get their campaign back on track with a second straight win thanks to brilliant centuries by openers David Warner and Mitchell Marsh.

Australia moved up to fourth in the standings — level with fifth-placed Pakistan on four points but with a better net run rate.

Pakistan won the toss and put Australia in to bat but skipper Babar Azam’s hopes of taking early wickets quickly evaporated when Warner (163) and Marsh (121) went out all guns blazing in a 259-run partnership.


“First 34 overs in the bowl and field cost us. We dropped Warner and such batters ensure they cash in. Credit to quicks and spinners for coming back in the last 15, who hit their lengths and the stumps,” Azam said in a post-match ceremony.

In response, Pakistan’s Abdullah Shafique (64) and Imam-ul-Haq (70) laid a good platform with a 134-run opening partnership but the rest of the top order failed to build on promising starts as they were bundled out for 305. 

“Message for the batters was that we can do it. We’ve done it and the ball comes well under lights. We started well. We got small partnerships but needed big ones in the middle. Honestly, we have to get up to the mark in the first ten with ball and partnerships in the middle with bat,” Babar said.

Abdullah also echoed similar thoughts as Babar in post-match press conference.

“Australia has played very well; we have to admit that and we have also put in our entire effort. As a bowling unit, in the end, we bowled very well. Our batting was also good, but in the middle overs – we couldn’t finish well. Hopefully, we will learn from this and perform better in the next matches,” Shafique said.


When inquired about whether he believes that Usama Mir’s dropped catch of David Warner influenced the game’s trajectory and had a detrimental impact on Pakistan, Shafique said “No, I don’t think so.”  

“Catches obviously change your game, you get wickets and you get into momentum. All fielders are trying to do their best, but sometimes you don’t get that value. But we have given a good fight,” the opener added.