Sarfaraz Ahmed has admitted that the bowling in the first 25 overs was not good enough and that eventually cost Pakistan the match against Australia. They lost by 41-runs in the Group Stage of the ICC World Cup.
The wicket-keeper also admitted that they could have batted better to chase down a target of 308 that was not entirely out of reach on a good surface at Taunton. Pakistan next face one of the tournament’s favourites and their arch-rivals India, a team they have never beaten in World Cups.
"Definitely, the batting was short and that's why we lost the match, Hasan (Ali) batted well, Wahab (Riaz) batted well, we fought but could not win. We conceded too many runs first 20 overs, except for (Mohammad) Amir the other bowlers did not bowl well, 270-80 was (par). If we want to win, the fop four have to make runs. Imam (Ul Haq) made fifty, Babar (Azam) made 30, but the top four must score runs. (Next game v India?) We will try our level best," the Pakistan captain said at the post match presentation.
On the other hand, Australian captain Aaron Finch spoke about the late fight that Pakistan showed while batting while also being rueing the opportunity to bat 50 overs after getting a solid start. Australia were well set to score around 350 after the first 25 overs but Amir’s fast bowling ensured that the Aussies were all-out in 49 overs.
"They certainly did (run it close), it's always tough when you've got guys like Hasan and Wahab coming out and swinging. When they get on a roll it can be tough to stop. We had to bowl our best ball, yorker or length, if your execution is off you go out of the ground. Disappointing we didn't bat out 50 overs, when you go in with an extra batter. We probably tried to go too hard too early and ended up 20-30 runs short. But great we still got the two points despite not finishing off. It was a tough call, when you lose your allrounder (Marcus Stoinis) you have to choose an extra batter or bowler. We backed (Glenn) Maxwell to bowl ten overs, he got seven out and I managed to sneak a couple."
Eventually, David Warner’s century that got Australia off to an excellent start was the difference between the two teams and he was named man-of-the-match. He scored 107 off 111 balls and was looking to bat for 50 overs.
This was the aggressive left-handed batsman’s second World Cup century and also his second man-of-the-match award this World Cup. Warner, also admitted that he should have stayed on till the end of the innings as the set batsman to help his side score a bigger total.
"When I got out we had 70 balls to go, as the 'in' batter you want to bat 50 overs. We should have been around 340-50, credit to Pakistan, their second spells were fantastic and made it hard for us to hit down the ground. It was a used wicket and a touch dry, they bowled very straight lines, gave me no width, I just had to come out [and grind]... bit of movement early on, had to be tighter and climb into the back-of-a-length balls. For us it's about the way we finished, some great knocks for Pakistan, Wahab freeing his arms. Our bowlers bowled fantastic, they probably got closer than we expected but it was a great game," Warner concluded.