Sarfaraz warns Pakistan must improve ahead of India clash

Sarfraz Ahmed. (AFP/File)
Updated 13 June 2019

Sarfaraz warns Pakistan must improve ahead of India clash

  • Says Pakistan made too many mistakes in Wednesday's match where they were dismissed for 266 in 45.4 overs
  • Pakistan faces India on Sunday, has never beaten the side in six World Cup matches since 1992

TAUNTON, United Kingdom: Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said his side’s had to raise their fielding standards ahead of a crucial World Cup match against arch-rivals India at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Pakistan once again produced some sloppy out-cricket in a 41-run group stage defeat by champions Australia at Taunton on Wednesday, dropping three catches amid other misfields.
“We need to improve because if we want to beat bigger teams like Australia and India then all three aspects of the game are crucial,” said Sarfaraz.
“Definitely I think the fielding needs improvement — the fielding is not up to the mark,” the wicket-keeper admitted. “We work together again, and work hard before the India match.”
Pakistan have never beaten India in six World Cup matches dating back to 1992.
Pakistan could have derailed Australia at the start, after Sarfaraz won the toss and opted to field first.
But first slip Asif Ali dropped Aaron Finch off paceman Wahab Riaz when the Australian skipper was on 26 with the total at 67.
Finch (82) and David Warner (107) took the opening stand to 146 before Mohammad Amir turned the match on its head with a career best 5-30 as Australia were bowled out for 307 in 49 overs.
Sarfaraz said Pakistan had made too many mistakes of their own in a match where they were dismissed for 266 in 45.4 overs.
They now have three points from four games, with two defeats, one win — a surprise success over tournament hosts and favorites England — and a no-result.
“We committed more mistakes than Australia,” said Sarfaraz. “We won a good toss but didn’t bowl well in the first 30 overs.”
Sarfaraz added a rapid collapse that saw three wickets lost for 11 runs as Pakistan slumped to 147-5 had also proved costly.
“I think losing three wickets in the space of 15 balls was the turning point.
“Babar (Azam, who made 30 including seven fours) was playing well and his was a soft dismissal.”
Mohammad Hafeez also fell when well set, for 46, when he hit a Finch full toss straight to deep square leg.
“The ball which Mohammad Hafeez got out to was a loose one — it should have gone over the fence,” said Sarfaraz.
“We have to overcome our mistakes because India are also a very strong team. We will assess our performance and then we will plan.”


Pakistan cruises to 2nd Twenty20 win vs Bangladesh

Updated 25 January 2020

Pakistan cruises to 2nd Twenty20 win vs Bangladesh

  • Babar Azam, who was out for zero on Friday in Pakistan’s five-wicket win, remained not out on 66
  • Bangladesh’s top-order batsmen struggled for the second consecutive day as the side was restricted to 136-6

LAHORE: Captain Babar Azam and recalled Mohammad Hafeez struck unbeaten half centuries as Pakistan cruised to a nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the second Twenty20 on Saturday and kept alive its hopes of retaining the No. 1 ranking.
Pakistan could stay top if it completes a 3-0 clean sweep by winning the final Twenty20 of the three-match series on Monday.
Recalled 39-year-old Hafeez made an unbeaten 67 off 49 balls while No. 1-ranked Twenty20 batsman Babar remained not out on 66 as Pakistan eased to 137-1 with more than three overs to spare.
Both batsmen entertained a weekend crowd of around 20,000 at the Qaddafi Stadium with a splendid 131-run stand against a listless Bangladesh bowling attack.
Shafiul Islam was the lone successful bowler when he had Ahsan Ali caught at mid off for a duck in his first over before Babar and Hafeez took charge. Bangladesh’s disappointing performance was summed up when wicketkeeper Liton Das dropped Hafeez soon after he had reached his half century.
Hafeez, who completed his half century with two successive fours off Shafiul in the 13th over, struck nine fours and a six while Babar, who was out for zero on Friday in Pakistan’s five-wicket win, hit seven boundaries and a six.
In the absence of the banned Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, who pulled out of the tour due to security concerns, Bangladesh’s top-order batsmen struggled for the second consecutive day as the side was restricted to 136-6.
Earlier, opening batsman Tamim Iqbal labored for 53 balls on his way to a top score of 65 before he was run out in the 18th over as the Bangladesh innings struggled to build any momentum against the Pakistan pace attack.
The inexperienced pace trio of Mohammad Hasnain (2-20), Shaheen Afridi (1-22) and Haris Rauf (1-27) combined to bowl 12 overs, conceding only 69 runs between them and sharing four wickets.
Captain Mahmudullah, who won his second successive toss, surprisingly didn’t put himself in the top order while another experienced batsman, Soumya Sarkar, came in after the fall of Tamim’s wicket with only 14 balls left in the innings.
Bangladesh will round out the first phase of the Pakistan tour on Monday. The team didn’t want to stay in Pakistan for more than a week due to security concerns.
The tour was only finalized last week when Bangladesh agreed to split the Twenty20 series and the two ICC World Test Championship matches into three phases after the countries’ national cricket boards reached consensus in Dubai during a meeting facilitated by International Cricket Council chairman Shashank Manohar.
Bangladesh will return for the first test in Rawalpindi from Feb. 7-11. After a break of almost two months, Bangladesh will play an ODI and the second test in Karachi on April 3-9.
Late last year, Sri Lanka also split its tour to Pakistan into two phases when it played a Twenty20 series in Lahore and then returned in December for two test matches in Rawalpindi and Karachi, staying in Pakistan for 16 days.