Pakistan’s semi-final hopes in the ICC World Cup 2023 was almost over after New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by five wickets on Thursday.
The Black Caps boosted their net run rate to +0.743 following their comfortable success in Bangalore.
To overtake them, the Green Shirts needed to beat England by 287 or 288 runs if they batted first. While bowling first meant the 1992 champions required success with an incredible 284 deliveries to spare.
The equations were never in their favour but they could have ended their World Cup campaign on a high with a victory against the Three Lions.
However, they went on to suffer a heavy loss in Kolkata by 93 runs.
Half-centuries from Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow propelled England to 337 in 50 overs after their skipper Jos Buttler elected to bat first at the Eden Gardens.
In response, Pakistan were all bowled out for 244 with only Salman Ali Agha hitting a decent 51-run knock.
The team’s disappointing performance in the ICC World Cup 2023 has brought immense scrutiny on captain Babar Azam, who was criticised for many of his decisions.
The 29-year-old has also been targeted for his mediocre batting display in India. He managed to score only 320 runs in nine innings, averaging less than 40 in the tournament.
Many have also defended Babar, including former Pakistan great Wasim Akram who insisted the faulty system of cricket should be blamed.
Misbah-ul-Haq also shared the same sentiments, saying we cannot only blame the skipper for the poor World Cup showing.
However, recent reports suggest Babar will likely lose his ODI captaincy in the coming days.
This is according to a report from Cricket Pakistan who claim that discussions within the board about the matter started even before the England match.
And it is said to be likely that Babar will be removed as the captain in white-ball cricket.
However, the 29-year-old is expected to continue as the skipper during the test series against Australia.
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