Pakistan endured a 23-run defeat against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2022 finale, a contest which saw the Babar Azam and co collapse from 99/3 to 147 all-out. Their star finisher Asif Ali, who is renowned for his attacking batting was dismissed on a golden duck as Pakistan failed to complete the 171-run chase.
Shadab Khan, another premier all-rounder from the Pakistan unit, too had a forgettable outing, managing just 8 off 6 balls with the bat. Despite the poor outing, their coach Saqlin Mushtaq was heavily impressed by their character, revealing the duo went to bat despite battling pain.
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During the post-match conference, Mushtaq said that Asif played with four stitches on his hand, while Shadab was concussed following the heavy collision with the former while fielding.
“Asif ke haath mey chaar taanke lage hue hai. Shadab ke kaan me se khoon nikal raha, usko concussion ka tha fir bhi batting karne ke liye gaya (Asia played with four stitches in his hand. Shadab’s ear was bleeding, he was concussed after the Collison and despite all of this he went to bat),” said the coach.
He also defended his batters despite the middle-order collapse and stated any criticism regarding the same is uncalled for.
“I have been hearing people question the middle order. But I don’t understand why? Series whitewash against WI, semi-final in the T20 world cup, final here, we are not doing badly. In the small format, minute mistakes are not small, the impact of a small mistake is big. We have made such small mistakes. We will try not to commit those mistakes in the future,” the coach said.
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