Disappointing despite fine fight back : Babar on tense loss to SA, nail biting finish says Bavuma

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Attributing that the team batting first fell short by 10 to 15 runs, Pakistan

Skipper Babar Azam late on Friday night expressed disappointment over the nerve wracking

loss against South Africa, despite a fine fight back by the charged up bowlers, especially the

quicks.

After bowling out Pakistan for 270, the Proteas got off to a blazing start, wobbled in the middle

overs, and finally squeaked past by one wicket in a humdinger, the closest ever contest seen

in this edition to jump to the top of the table along with an undefeated India, with their fifth win

in six matches.

“It’s very disappointing”, Babar said after the loss at the M.A.Chidambaram Stadium in a roller

coaster encounter that saw twists and turns and fortunes fluctuated on a pitch that gripped

and had bounce and offered some movement for the seamers, with the spinners too playing their

part, Babar said.

“Very disappointing, we fought back well but we were 10-15 runs short”, he said.

“I think the way fast bowlers bowled, they did well but unfortunately the result was not in our

side”, he said.

On DRS, Babar said it’s part of the game, this is umpire’s call so I think it’s just part of the

game. I think it’s disappointing everyone, we had the opportunity to win this match and stay

in the tournament but we missed it”, he added.

“We will try our best in our next three matches and put our effort so let’s see where we stand

after the three matches”, hoping that the results of other matches goes their way.to entertain

any hopes of qualifying for knock out, as the team slid to sixth place in the points table with a

mere two wins in six matches.

An uphill task awaits the Asian giants as they will be facing Bangladesh, New Zealand and

reigning campions England–which is almost knocked out of the tournament–in its remaining

three matches and needed to win big.

On the other hand, Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma, who returned to the match after an injury,

termed the victory as a nail biting finish, though happy, while accepting that the team did not

have done well in chasing.

The team has amassed four 300-plus scores, including one over 400 — accumulating a staggering

over 1,500 runs in this edition, recording run away wins and finally faced real test against Pakistan

at Chepauk under extremely energy sapping conditions.

‘It’s a bit chaos at the moment, guys enjoying it, Guys picking up Shamsi(oeft arm spinner who

was brought into the playing XI to strengthen the spin attack and picked up four wickets, causing

Pakistan’s middle order collapse.

“Nail-biting finish, if you are a South African fan, you are a little bit happier, we haven’t done well

in chasing, it will be easier to have those conversations now”, Bavuma said.

“I think obviously we have a blueprint, batting first, we have shown, we can’t say with conviction

we have the blueprint while chasing but we will have the conversations. We obviously want to

show more clinical display with the bat”, he said.

“(Rabada), who missed out, is good, he is experiencing lower back spasm, I am sure he will

come into contention for New Zealand game”, Bavuma exuded confidence on his key seam

bowler.

He was also all praise for Tabraiz Shamsi for exploiting the conditions well and coming good

with the bat in the last wicket partnership with another left arm spinner Keshav Maharaj as the

duo held their nerves to cross the finishing line amid mounting tension.

“Ecstatic for Shamsi, He came in favourable conditions and exploited it and then with the bat

I think you’ve seen Shamsi on social media gloating about his batting, we needed that today

and fortunately for us he came through”, Bavuma said.

Shamsi said ” I knew I had to do a job there but the guys that came before me set it up perfectly

you know. Yeah, really happy, you know you played enough cricket as well to understand that

sometimes it goes for you…sometimes it doesn’t so. While it’s going for me I’m happy to be

able to contribute, you know to help the team win I didn’t think I’ll be able to put my pads on but

it actually feels nice”.

“Yeah, the most precious four runs that he was ever scored in life. It’s probably most important

four runs he has scored it this whole year…the key was really holding your nerves in the end

because it’s so tempting when you see a spinner to play a big shot and try and finish it early…

boys wouldn’t welcome me back in the change room. So there was never a doubt in my head

that I was going to play a big shot and you know in a funny way”, Shamsi said.

“it was actually quite nice. You know, these are the type of moments that you train for the big

stage”, Shamsi said basking on the glory of team’s momentous victory.

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