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  5. Babar Azam blames batting collapse after heartbreaking loss to New Zealand in 4th T20I

Babar Azam blames batting collapse after heartbreaking loss to New Zealand in 4th T20I

William O'Rourke won the Player of the Match award for his stupendous bowling display. The right-arm pacer bagged figures of 3/27 and claimed the big wickets of Saim Ayub, Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Published on: April 26, 2024 9:18 IST
Pakistan and New Zealand players shake hands after 4th T20I.
Image Source : AP Pakistan and New Zealand players shake hands after 4th T20I.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam had plenty to say after his side's shocking loss to New Zealand on Thursday (April 25) in the fourth T20I of the ongoing five-match series.

Crestfallen Babar blamed Pakistan's batting collapse for the loss and felt that the result would have been different had they not lost three wickets in their powerplay. He lauded the bowlers for restricting the visitors to just 178 as he felt that it was a 190-200 surface.

"I think we restricted them in bowling really well. We were expecting 190-200 but bowlers stuck to their plans, it was chase able, but we had a batting collapse," Babar said during the post-match presentation.

"We lost three-four wickets in powerplay but Fakhar's innings was outstanding. We wanted to chase it with positive intent but we were unable to do so. When you lose back-to-back wickets, you need a few overs to catch up but that we got derailed in that period."

Babar also revealed that Pakistan wanted to test their bench strength and try out different playing combinations during the series. He expressed satisfaction with the effort put in by the youngsters.

"It was a different surface; we were coming back after a long time, average score is 190 so I think we restricted them well. There were some changes due to injuries but youngsters put in a great effort."

"Our plan was to give proper opportunity to (test our) bench strength and see where we stand and we wanted to play different combinations. Hopefully, we will have the team ready come the time of the World Cup," he concluded.

The match turned out to be a test of character for the relatively inexperienced Kiwi side. The Michael Bracewell-led side came into the 4th T20I having levelled the series 1-1 and showcased yet another brilliant performance to take an unassailable lead.

With scores of 51 and 28, Tim Robinson and Tom Blundell provided the Blackcaps with a promising start and it was a major reason that helped them post a respectable total on the board. William O'Rourke applied relentless pressure with the ball in hand and it eventually led to Pakistan's undoing.

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