It was a disastrous affair for Pakistan in the World T20 against Zimbabwe on Thursday. The side suffered a 1st straight loss for the men in maroon in Perth and their second loss in the marquee Super 12 stage. The Babar Azam-led side had earlier lost by four points to arch-rivals India on Sunday; with two losses on the bounce, their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals have now suffered a major blow.
Despite narrowly restricting Zimbabwe to 130/8 in 20 overs, Pakistan were unable to chase down a low score after their opener, Babar and Mohammad Rizwan – who have often stepped up to the side – again failed with the ball as they were dismissed for 4 and 14 respectively. . Apart from Shan Masood (44), not a single Pakistani batsman managed an average performance as Zimbabwe cruised to a historic victory in Perth.
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Interestingly, Pakistan’s middle class has come under intense scrutiny in the past few months. Many former cricketers called for the inclusion of Shoaib Malik, but the selection committee stuck with the existing middle order despite uninspiring performances at the position.
After the defeat against Zimbabwe, former Pakistan bowler Aaqib Javed appeared to lash out at the PCB selection committee, claiming that if Shoaib Malik had been part of the middle order, he would have won both the matches against India. and Zimbabwe.
“Agar Malik iss team and hota.. vo sabse zyada fit hai, aur sabse zyada usko game-message hain.” You vetchit jate match,” said Aaqib Geo news.
The former Pakistan bowler’s comments came after Imad Wasim spoke at length about the need to prioritize game awareness over fitness, with the team’s former wicketkeeper Moeen Khan acknowledging the statement.
Malik has played in Pakistan’s previous T20 World Cups but has not made a single appearance for the team in the shortest format of the game this year.