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Pakistan Took USA Lightly, Paid the Price in T20 World Cup Opener: Babar Azam

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DALLAS: Left stunned by the Super Over defeat to USA in their T20 World Cup opener, an upset Pakistan captain Babar Azam conceded that his side was guilty of taking things “a little lightly” and failed to come good in any department of the game.

Co-hosts USA pulled off the first upset of the ongong event, edging out former champions and last edition’s finalists Pakistan in the Super Over here on Thursday.

The defeat was a stark reminder of Pakistan’s unpredictability, which has often seen them lose to teams that may not seem strong on paper. Pakistan had lost to Zimbabwe in the last T20 World Cup in Australia and recently the ‘Men In Green’ were beaten by Ireland during a bilateral series.

“Whenever you come in any tournament, you do the best preparation always. You can say it’s a kind of mindset. When you come up against a team like this (associate nations), you relax a little, you take things a little lightly,” Babar said at the post-match press conference.

“See, if you don’t execute your plan against any team, then whatever team it is, they will beat you. So, I believe that we are not up to the mark in executing. We are doing well in preparation but in the match, we are not executing our plans as a team,” he added.

The skipper was critical of his side’s performance as Pakistan were simply outplayed by the debutants.

“I am upset. We are not playing good in all three departments.”

Pakistan were reeling at 26/3 but Babar and Shadab Khan managed to score 63 in the next six overs.

When it looked like Pakistan had gained momentum, Nosthush Kenjige claimed the scalps of Shadab and Azam Khan off successive deliveries in the 13th over with Babar following them a couple of overs later

“For six overs, we did not capitalise properly, but later on, after the 10th over we got momentum, but again we lost too many wickets and then your momentum is gone,” Babar pointed out.

“So, as a batting unit, we need to step it up in the middle and towards the end,” he said.

Pakistan didn’t excel with the ball either, an aspect which is considered their strong suit. Spinners Shadab and Iftikhar Ahmed conceded 37 runs in four overs.

“We are better than that in bowling, we were not able to take wickets in the first six overs. In the middle overs, your spinner is not taking wickets then pressure is on us.”

“After 10 overs, we did come back but I think the way they finished game in the Super Over, the credit goes to the US team,” Babar said.

Pakistan will take on arch-rivals India next on Sunday.

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