‘They gave their all’: Politicians, analysts buck up Babar Azam and Co following World Cup loss to England
Ben Stokes and Sam Curran starred as England edged Pakistan to win the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday and become the sport’s first dual white-ball champions, holding both the 50- and 20-over titles.
Jos Buttler’s side held Pakistan to 137-8 in front of a partisan 80,462 fans at a heaving Melbourne Cricket Ground before Stokes’s unbeaten 52 steered them to a five-wicket victory with six balls remaining.
Although the green shirts fell short in during the first innings, they almost made the match with superb bowling. Pakistan pacers led by Shaheen and Haris Rauf did a remarkable job of keeping their team in the hunt despite just 137 to defend.
However, an untimely injury to star pacer Shaheen Afridi a ball into the 16th over forced Babar Azam to turn to part-timer Iftikhar Ahmed.
Here’s what fans in Pakistan, from politicians to analysts, had to say about today’s innings.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif credited the team for “hard and brave” fightback as he hailed the bowling performance.
“We are proud of our boys in green for making it to the final match of this mega tournament,” he tweeted.
President Dr Arif Alvi said Pakistan tried its best despite a low score.
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry thanked the green shirts for “putting up a real hard effort”, especially pacer Haris Rauf. “Fielding was beyond expectations. Hard luck but no worries, great game of cricket,” he added.
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle called Pakistan the best bowling team, saying that few teams could defend a 138 the way the green shirts did.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan said Shaheen’s injury had a major impact on the outcome of the game.
“Pakistan have once again been brilliant to watch. They being so much to the world game,” he tweeted.
Women’s team pacer Fatima Sana said the team’s bowling and fielding units deserved huge applause for putting up a great show.
British sports writer Will Macpherson was also all praises for the Pakistan cricket team.
British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner said England won the trophy but Pakistan won hearts.
Veteran cricketer Shahid Afridi asked the boys to keep their chins up for getting to the finals despite all odds.
Cricket analyst Aakash Chopra said only Pakistan could’ve stretched England that far.