Mohammad Rizwan in action for the Pakistan cricket team© AFP
Ramiz Raja, former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, was extremely critical of the Pakistan cricket team after they succumbed to New Zealand in the warm-up match for the 2023 Cricket World Cup. The Babar Azam-led side scored 345 with the help of a century from Mohammed Rizwan and a gritty 80 from the captain. However, that wasn’t enough as New Zealand were able to chase him down with 6.2 overs remaining. Raja said that Pakistan is starting to lose the habit and pointed out that if the bowlers fail to perform on the big stage, the team will have to score more than 400 runs.
“I know it was just a practice match, but a win is a win. And winning becomes a habit. But I feel Pakistan is now getting into the habit of losing. First they lost in the Asia Cup, and now here. Pakistan scored 345 and it was a great chase. If these are the pitches – and such pitches are what you get in India – you will have to score 400 if your bowling continues to fail like this. You will have to change your tactics, take risks. And we do not that. We play defensively for the first 10 to 15 overs and then switch,” he told reporters.
Rachin Ravindra and returning Kane Williamson played key knocks as New Zealand chased down 345 and defeated Pakistan by five wickets in a World Cup warm-up match on Friday.
Chasing 346 for victory, New Zealand lost an early wicket before Ravindra (97) and Williamson (54) put on 137 to put their team on course and they reached the target with 6.2 overs to spare in Hyderabad.
Mohammed Rizwan hit 103 and Babar Azam made 80 in Pakistan’s 345-5 after opting to bat first, but the Kiwi batsmen made it totally easy against an attack-less spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Williamson, who returned from a six-month layoff due to his knee injury and played the match as a solo batsman, looked impressive during his 50-ball stay before retiring.
(With AFP inputs)
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