Former world champion, Matthew Hayden expressed his happiness seeing the camaraderie between Pakistan captain Babar Azam and his opening partner Mohammad Rizwan. The duo was sensational on the night of the semi-finals as they paced the way for Pakistan to qualify for the finals of the 20-20 World Cup 2022. Against New Zealand, the dup put up an opening partnership of 105 runs, which completely bamboozled the Kiwis in the second innings as they lose by seven wickets.
Now, Hayden who joined the Men in Green management ahead of the tournament, showered praises on the duo as he spotted Babar, the skipper helping Rizwan with the throwdowns at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) ahead of their match. Lauding them after the match, Hayden also spoke on how the camaraderie helped Pakistan get over the line.
“Sensational performance. I think as coaches and a team, we can only ask about giving our best and clearly tonight that was the case. It was just an extraordinary effort. I want to make a special mention to a moment that I saw at the start of play and that was Babar throwing balls to Rizzy and I thought, from an opening partnership’s point of view, that’s exactly what this team requires,” the former Australia international said.
“It’s just extraordinary that they decided to do that. There were plenty of coaches around, but Babar showed that it wasn’t just about him, it’s also about his mate at the other end,” the 51-year-old added.
PCB chairman Ramiz Raza hails Pakistan for a dramatic turnaround
“A perfect 10! Very few teams in world cricket would have risen to the occasion like Pakistan did today. Melbourne here we come again #WC92,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raza tweeted.
#PakvsNz A perfect 10! Very few teams in world cricket would have risen to the occasion like Pakistan did today👏👏Melbourne here we come again #WC92
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) November 9, 2022
After losing to India and Zimbabwe in their first two matches, Pakistan’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals were looking dim at a point. However, with three back-to-back wins ad South Africa’s defeat at the hands of the Netherlands, the Men in Green qualified for the knock-outs and then defeated the Kane Williamson-led side to qualify for the all-important final. Thus, their turnaround is one for the books as Ramiz Raza hailed the Babar Azam-led side for playing terrific cricket.
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