Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has highlighted the importance of strike rate in the shortest format of the game after Sri Lanka beat Pakistan in the 2022 Asia Cup final on Sunday, September 11.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Mohammad Rizwan played contrasting knocks for their respective sides, which prompted Inzamam to comment on the strike rate of the batters.
Coming in to bat at 36-3 inside the powerplay itself, Rajapaksa played a stellar knock under pressure. The flamboyant left-handed batter maintained the tempo and scored an unbeaten 71 off 45 deliveries, which steered Sri Lanka to a competitive total of 170-6 in the first innings.
Noting that Rajapaksa’s 71-run knock would have been a futile one had it not come at a strike rate of 157.78, Inzamam said on his YouTube channel:
“Hasaranga scored 31 and Rajapaksa scored 71, those were two great knocks. The pace at which the runs and the situation from which the runs were made was a great sight. “Had the 70 runs come at a slower pace, the total would only have been around 140, which Pakistan would have chased down. So, that 70 runs would have been of no use.”
During the run chase, wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan once again tried to play the role of the anchor following Babar Azam’s early dismissal.
The No.1 ranked batter in T20Is scored 55 runs of 49 deliveries as Pakistan lost their way in the run chase to fall short by 23 runs.
“Pakistan played well in the tournament, but not very well” – Inzamam-ul-Haq
The Men in Green were touted as one of the favorites to win the 2022 Asia Cup alongside arch-rivals India. However, the team’s decade-long wait to claim the trophy was prolonged following a spirited set of performances by Sri Lanka.
Criticizing Pakistan for letting Sri Lanka off the hook after having reduced them to 58-5 at one stage of the game, Inzamam said:
“All of Sri Lanka’s pacers are newcomers, none of them are experienced, but they have come having done their homework. Pakistan played well in the tournament, but not very well. “Many of their flaws were on show. They could not capitalize on the pressure, which helped them reduce Sri Lanka for 58-5 at one stage of the game.”
Babar Azam’s side will next play a seven-match T20I series against England at home, followed by a tri-series involving Bangladesh and New Zealand.
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