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Pakistan Super League 2022

‘Nothing more frustrating as a viewer’ – Babar Azam criticised for his first-innings go-slow in PSL opener

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Babar Azam, the ICC ODI Player of the Year 2021, has been criticised for his strike rate during Karachi Kings’ opening encounter in this year’s Pakistan Super League, which ended in defeat for his team.

Batting first against Multan Sultans, the Kings got off to a sedate start, scoring 34-0 in the first five overs, with openers Sharjeel Khan and Babar making 27 off 20 balls and 13 off 16 respectively. Sharjeel managed to continue his brisk start after the end of the powerplay overs, eventually getting out for 43 in 31 deliveries, the Pakistan skipper was unable to break the shackles and ended up with 23 in 29 balls. His slow-paced innings meant that despite Sharjeel’s quick knock at the other end, Karachi could only post 71-2 by the end of the 11th over, which increased the pressure on the batters to follow.

Karachi ended up with 124-5 in their quota of 20 overs, with none of the middle order batters scoring at a rate of more than 108.33. Multan, led by a 47-ball 52* by Mohammad Rizwan went on to chase the target in 18.2 overs.

The prolific opener has often been in the firing line for his overall T20 strike rate of 128.19, and he was not spared after his underpar showing on Thursday either.

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