Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed pinpointed tough condition as well as losing both Azhar Ali and Babar Azam in the opening over as the prime reasons for his team’s abysmal showing in the opening ODI defeat to New Zealand on Saturday — excuses that didn’t sit will with legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas.
Pakistan were outclassed in the opening match, first allowing the Kiwis to post a mammoth 315-run total before being reduced to 166-6 in their run-chase, eventually losing by 66 runs under the Duckworth–Lewis method after rain kept the match from being completed.
“These were tough condition for us but the New Zealand batsmen batted well, especially Kane Williamson,” said Sarfraz, who dropped the Kiwi captain’s catch early in his innings. in his post-match interview. “We also lost early wickets and never truly recovered from that setback.”
However, the Pakistan captain vowed that the team will discuss its weaknesses and make necessary adjustments to ensure improved performances for the rest of the tour. “Hopefully, we will sit together and come up with a better performance next time.”
But legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas told Sarfraz and team to not use difficult conditions as an excuse, saying same is the case for other sides when they visit Pakistan’s adopted home of UAE.
“There shouldn’t be any excuses because when other sides visit UAE they perform as well as they could in what are difficult conditions for them,” the former Test cricketer told Dawn News.
Meanwhile, Williamson, who scored 115 off 117 deliveries, was more understanding of his counterpart’s problem as he praised Pakistan’s bowling effort and agreed that playing conditions were tough.
“They did bowl well for a long time there, and I felt we were perhaps fortunate to get that above 300 score,” Williamson said. “They did execute their plans well, the wind was tough to deal with, and maybe that’s where we gained an upper hand.”