Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan cricket team, has explained why he sent Iftikhar Ahmed to bat at number eight in the third T20I against New Zealand on Monday. The match was held at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
The Pakistan captain praised Iftikhar’s versatility as a batsman in a post-match interview after losing by four runs. He emphasized that Iftikhar could bat at any number in the order, and the specific position didn’t matter.
Babar said they have kept their batting order flexible and chose what they thought was best at the time. He praised Iftikhar Ahmed and Faheem Ashraf for their outstanding performances. The team is playing with a deep batting lineup, allowing them to send anyone to bat at any time. According to Babar, Iftikhar can bat at any number, and numbers don’t matter.
Iftikhar played a crucial role in Pakistan’s chase against New Zealand, coming in when they were 88-7. He played a whirlwind innings, scoring 60 runs off just 24 balls, which brought Pakistan back into the contest. The target set by New Zealand was 163-5.
During the final over of Neesham’s spell, Pakistan needed 15 runs to win. However, Iftikhar hit a six and a four, bringing the target down to just five runs from the last three deliveries.
But Neesham had Ahmed caught at long-on by Daryl Mitchell and then after a dot ball dismissed last man Haris Rauf in the same manner.
Iftikhar and Faheem’s partnership of 61 runs for the eighth wicket helped to lead the fightback. Ashraf made a quick 27 runs off 14 balls with two sixes and two fours but got out.
New Zealand’s victory in the third match of the series means that they now trail 2-1 after losing the first two games to Pakistan. All matches are being played in Pakistan, with the last two scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi on April 20 and 24.
This is published in logicalbaat, on 18 April, 2023.