The national team skipper regrets over missing the catch of David Warner, saying that it would have been a game changer.
Following their defeat to Australia in Bangalore, Babar Azam highlighted that the team's lackluster performance in the initial 34 overs and their fielding played pivotal roles in their loss. He emphasized that a player of David Warner's caliber, when given the opportunity to take a catch during his innings, could be a game-changer.
Babar Azam recognized that the match held the potential for a high score, but regrettably, they fell short of their expectations. He interpreted the result of the match as an encouraging message that they possess the capability to attain significant targets in future contests.
Moreover, Babar Azam underscored the importance of enhancing their performance in the initial 10 overs of bowling and during the middle overs of batting. He also noted the valuable experience gained from batting under the floodlights and the positive partnerships formed early in the game, despite the absence of substantial collaborations.
In an earlier match, David Warner's commanding 163 and Adam Zampa's four-wicket haul orchestrated Australia's 62-run victory over Pakistan in the 18th match of the ICC Men's cricket World Cup at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. This marked Australia's second consecutive win in the tournament and, conversely, Pakistan's second consecutive defeat.
Pakistan appeared to be in contention until the 39th over of their chase before Iftikhar Ahmed's dismissal led to the team losing their last five wickets for 36 runs. They were eventually bundled out for 305 in 45.3 overs. Openers Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq had initially provided a steady start, forming a 134-run partnership for the first wicket.
Abdullah crafted a 61-ball 64 with seven boundaries and two sixes, while Imam contributed with 70 off 71 deliveries, including 10 fours. Both were dismissed by Marcus Stoinis, putting Pakistan on the back foot.
Despite Pakistan's captain, Babar Azam, falling early for 18, the middle-order managed to regain momentum with decent starts. However, none of Mohammad Rizwan (46, 40 balls, 5 boundaries), Saud Shakeel (30, 31 balls, 5 boundaries), and Iftikhar Ahmed (26, 20 balls, 3 sixes) could convert their starts into substantial scores.
In their innings, Australia relied on remarkable centuries from David Warner and Mitchell Marsh to amass an imposing total of 367-9 in their allotted 50 overs. Warner and Marsh demonstrated an impressive blend of elegance and aggression in their massive 259-run partnership – the third-highest opening stand for Australia in ODIs.
Marsh smashed nine sixes and ten fours in his 108-ball 121, while Warner launched nine maximums and 14 boundaries in his 163 off 124 balls. Although Australia seemed poised to score in excess of 400 at one point, Pakistan managed to pull them back thanks to Shaheen Shah Afridi's third five-wicket haul in ODIs.
Scores in brief:
Australia defeated Pakistan by 62 runs