Disappointed and gutted Pakistan skipper Babar Azam came up with an ‘acceptance’ in the post-match press conference following an embarrassing defeat against Afghanistan by a margin of 8 wickets in the ODI World Cup 2023. Notably, it was also the first win for the Afghan men in the eighth ODI clash against Pakistan.
Afghanistan comfortably chased down the target of 283 runs in 49 overs for the loss of 2 wickets to register their second win in the prestigious cricket quadrennial. Rahmat Shah and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi stitched an unbeaten match-winning partnership of 96 runs for the third wicket to take their side over the line.
“We are hurt as a team, we must feel the disappointment and my message to my team for the remaining matches will be to learn from this defeat," said Babar Azam during the post-match press conference after this third successive defeat in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023.
"We achieved what we set out to do when we batted but we were not up to the mark in bowling and fielding. We failed to put them under pressure but I congratulate Afghanistan for this victory. Afghanistan's spinners are of good quality so the plan was to not give them wickets until the 40th over and then charge in the last ten but we fell some 10-15 runs short,” he added later.
"From now on we need to play our best cricket." - Babar Azam
Furthermore, Babar Azam spoke about the lessons and learning for Pakistan after this unexpected and humiliating defeat against the lower ranked team like Afghanistan at the biggest stage.
“From now on we need to play our best cricket in all departments and must overcome our mistakes. We have been perfect in training but I think our bowlers over-tried in matches and have leaked runs. We need to focus on the positives and adopt a different mindset,” he said.
Now, Pakistan will face the in-form South Africa in the next match of their World Cup campaign. They will play this match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.