HARARE: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has lamented his side's performance in the second T20I of the three-match series against Zimbabwe, saying that the Green Shirts played poor cricket and it was a painful performance.
Despite skipper Babar's 41-run knock, Pakistan suffered a shocking 19-run defeat in a low-scoring second T20I against Zimbabwe here at the Harare Sports Club on Friday.
"It's a very painful performance. In South Africa, we had chased down 200; similarly here, we should have won this game comfortably. But unfortunately, we played poor cricket and continued to struggle in the middle order. Today, it was not just the middle order but our batsmen right through couldn't perform the way we expect them to. It was a collective collapse and we lost as a group. But credit to Zimbabwe who came back so strongly today," ESPNcricinfo quoted Babar as saying.
Chasing 119, barring Babar, Mohammed Rizwan (13), and Danish Aziz (22), no visiting batter was able to cross the double figure-mark. In fact, no batsman was able to score above six runs for Pakistan from the lower middle-order and the tailenders.
Babar's wicket brought the hosts back in the game and after that Pakistan kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. In the next over, Aziz departed after scoring 22 runs. At that time, Pakistan was 79/5 in 16.2 overs. Luke Jongwe didn't give any change to Pakistan for a fightback as he returned figures of 4-18 in his 3.5 overs. He was also adjudged as the Player of the Match. Pakistan collapsed from 79/5 to 99 in no time.
"The wicket was similar to the other day but it was suitable for batters and that is not an excuse anyway. As a professional, you adapt to every condition but I think we as openers didn't give a good start from the top and then our middle order was struggling to step up. The World T20 is closing in and we have to sort this out as soon as possible. The next game we will come back and make a good combination," said Babar.
Pakistan and Zimbabwe will now lock horns in the third and final T20I on Sunday.