Need to improve in shortest format: Babar after Pakistan lose T20I

Written by Mohan Sharma

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said that his team needs to improve in the shortest format after losing the deciding T20I against England.

England completed their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years with a 67-run win in the seventh T20I to clinch the series 4-3 in Lahore on Sunday, October 2.

“It was definitely difficult,” Babar said in the post-match presentation. “With 200 runs on the board, if we lose early wickets, it puts pressure on the other batters. This series was vital for us. We need to improve in the shortest format. I also mentioned at the toss, that we have a good bowling attack. Haris is bowling well, and he is improving everyday. I think entire Pakistan was waiting for this, even we were happy to host England.”

England posted 209/3 after being put in to bat. Dawid Malan (78* off 47) hit a half-century and Harry Brook’s 29-ball 46 not out ensured a brilliant finish for the visitors after both being dropped thrice.

In reply, Pakistan suffered an early collapse with their prolific opening pair Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan returning to dugout cheaply. Shan Masood (56 off 43) tried to fight back, but could not find much support from the other end as Pakistan kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.

Eventually, England managed to restrict Pakistan on 142/8 in 20 overs. Chris Woakes was the pick of England bowlers, having taken a three-wicket haul, while David Willey returned with two scalps.

“We saw this as a final, so to do it under pressure and put up a big score was fantastic,” said Malan, who was named the Player of the Match. “We felt the first 12-14 overs, it was coming on nicely, then it slowed up.

“Luckily our bowlers learned from their lessons with the ball, bowl into the wicket, changes of pace. They bowled fantastically well. We’re getting a break here and there, looking forward to getting to Australia and having a couple of days off. But it’s been fantastic to be here, thanks for having us.”

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Mohan Sharma