The 12th game of the Pakistan Super League 2023 pitted Peshawar Zalmi against Islamabad United on Thursday. Peshawar Zalmi entered the match on the back of a win against Quetta Gladiators, and they hoped to build on their winning streak. Islamabad United entered the game looking to bounce back after losing to Multan Sultans in their previous match.
Babar Azam, the captain of Peshawar Zalmi and Pakistan, anchored the innings against Islamabad. Peshawar was cruising at 76-0 but then they lost five wickets quickly, sending them floundering at 97-5. Babar’s brilliant effort took the team to a fighting total of 156/8 in 20 overs.
On this excellent batting surface, the Islamabad hitters had an easy time chasing the target. With 31 balls remaining, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Rassie Van Der Dussen, and Asif Ali made sure their team easily surpassed the target, earned the two points, and, thereby, raised their net run rate.
In the post match presentation, after this loss, Babar was asked whether he should change his approach and play an aggressive brand of cricket. In response, he said, ““Kitna achha chahiye aapko? (How much do you want?), 300 kar lein aap. (Why don't you just say 300!)."
The reporter genuinely felt the heat of the reply and clarified that he wasn’t judging his capabilities.
“See, you try. People keep saying things. My strike rate in the first 10 overs was nearly 160. But when you lose 5-6 wickets back to back, you don't try to take your strike rate to 200. You have to build a partnership then. That is what I tried to do." Babar added.
He concluded by saying, “You always try to carry the momentum forward, you don't try to break it down. It only happens when wickets fall. My plan was to build a partnership with (Dasun) Shanaka, take it to the 15th over and then take charge. So, justifiably, the strike rate would go down.”