ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Afghanistan's Gulbadin Naib defends costly decision to bowl himself against Pakistan

Gulbadin Naib has come under criticism for introducing himself to bowl in the 46th over against Pakistan which proved costly as he went for 18 runs.

Agence France-Presse, Jun 30, 2019 11:17:28 IST

Leeds: Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib defended his disastrous decision to bring himself on to bowl towards the end of a gripping match against Pakistan on Saturday -- a move that cost 18 runs in a single over.

Pakistan edged home by three wickets with two balls to spare at Headingley but the contest turned in the 46th over, bowled by Naib.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Afghanistans Gulbadin Naib defends costly decision to bowl himself against Pakistan

Gulbadin Naib issued a plea to supporters after his team’s three-wicket defeat to Pakistan. AP

Spinners Mohammad Nabi (2-23), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2-34) and Rashid Khan (1-50) had restricted Pakistan, who desperately needed to win to keep up their push for a semi-final place.

Pakistan, with four wickets in hand, needed 46 runs from 30 balls to win the match at the end of the 45th over but the complexion of the game was completely changed after man-of-the-match Imad Wasim smashed three fours and scrambled some more runs.

Naib also bowled a wide. Suddenly Pakistan needed just 28 runs from 24 balls and held their nerve to edge home. Seamer Naib, who conceded 73 runs in 9.4 wicketless overs, said a hamstring injury to paceman Hamid Hassan after he had bowled just two overs was the turning point in the match.

"We had the feeling they weren't targeting every bowler," said Naib, who was controversially appointed captain in place of the successful Asghar Afghan two months before the World Cup.

"Every team has their plans and I thought the crucial point is for the 46th over that I bowled and 18 runs, it's not really good."

"If Hamid was there maybe I didn't bowl more than three or four overs because I do not have enough speed for this kind of surface," he added.

But Naib gave credit to Pakistan. "I think the pressure was on the Pakistan side. But credit goes to them, how they played and how they finished the game," he said.

Afghanistan, who have lost all eight of their World Cup matches, play West Indies in their final match at Headingley on 4 July.

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Updated Date: Jun 30, 2019 11:17:28 IST

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
6 New Zealand 4784 252