KARACHI: With the three-match ODI series on line against hosts New Zealand, Pakistan’s ODI skipper Azhar Ali has said that the team will try not to repeat the mistakes from the first encounter when the two sides meet on Thursday in Napier.
Despite reducing New Zealand to 99 for six in the first ODI, Pakistan failed to finish the job as Azhar opted to bowl himself instead of attacking the Kiwis’ tail with his premium pacers.
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This provided the cushion for New Zealand to rebuild their innings as the visitors conceded 71 runs in the last five overs of the match. A target of 281 runs was set for the Azhar and his men which proved enough to turn the tables on Pakistan.
In the chase, Babar Azam (62) looked a different class while Mohammad Hafeez (42) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (30) played good hands, but none could take Pakistan home as they lost by 70 runs.
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“We’ll try not to repeat the same mistakes from the last match and improve our overall game for the second ODI,” said Azhar.
“The team had a good opportunity to bowl out New Zealand cheaply and win the match but we failed to capitalise on it. There were lapses in the field; we missed some chances which gave our opponents leverage to rebuild their innings and hurt us badly towards the end.”
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Reflecting on the batting performance, Azhar admitted that he and Ahmad Shahzad failed to provide a good opening start. In his view, if Hafeez and Babar, who built an 81-run partnership for the third wicket, had continued for a bit longer then the result of the match would have been different.
Azhar added that Pakistan have taken some positives out of the first match as the pace battery looked sharp and executed the bowling plans well, while he concluded with a word of praise for Babar’s splendid knock.
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