ODI World Cup: Pretty satisfied, credit to the bowlers, says Babar Azam | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: As Pakistan kicked off their 2023 ODI World Cup with a comprehensive 81-run win over Netherlands in Hyderabad on Friday, a satisfied skipper Babar Azam lauded his bowlers for their all-round effort.
The Dutch, who were chasing a competitive 287 were bowled out for 205 in 41 overs.
“Pretty satisfied, credit to the bowlers, the way they started well and the way we took wickets in the middle overs,” Babar said during the post-match presentation.”Our bowlers bowled very well, we stuck to our plans, Haris bowled quick and took wickets,” he said.
Pakistan suffered two mini collapses in their innings, one at the top of the order and the other one after a 120-run stand off 114 balls between Mohammad Rizwan (68 off 75) and Saud Shakeel (68 off 52) for the fourth wicket.
“We lost three wickets, but the way Rizwan and Saud batted put pressure on the Netherlands. Saud built his innings and played well. He has improved a lot,” the skipper said.
Netherlands captain Scott Edwards was left to rue the missed opportunity.
“Firstly, a little bit disappointing. Think we bowled and fielded really well. Credit to Pakistan, they batted well in the end. Felt the total was par, and we felt we were in the game when we were on 120,” he said.
For Netherlands, Bas de Leede produced an all-round effort as he scalped four wickets for 62 runs and then returned to score 67, albeit, in a losing cause.
“Bas de Leede is fantastic in all three departments of the game. Just needed someone to go with him. We were in a pretty good position. They just took a few wickets in the middle there,” he said.
Shakeel was adjudged the Player of the Match for his 52-ball fifty which was studded with nine fours and a six.
“I tried to be positive and score runs for the team. Nerves were there, we lost 3 wickets but I was fortunate enough to get early boundaries. We knew the pressure would go back to them if we got a start.
“I think the last 2-3 months I’ve been playing hard, I knew I’d bat number 5 for Pakistan and have been developing my shots according to that – sweeps and reverse sweeps,” he said.
Pakistan will face Sri Lanka in their next match on October 10.
(With inputs from PTI)

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