"It cost us the match" - Babar Azam blames "decision against Shakeel" for Pakistan's loss in 2nd test
England won the second Test at Multan with a close 26-run victory. With this win, England has won the series 2-0, and the third and final test match is to be played on December 17 at Karachi National Stadium. With this loss, Pakistan's slim chance to make it to the World Test Championship final has been shattered.
Notably, Pakistan looked good in the first half of the morning session of Day 4. They were at 290/5, chasing the target of 355. But just like the last game, they lost their last five wickets cheaply to get all out for 328.
The sixth-wicket partnership of 80 runs between Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Nawaz was looking good for the hosts. But once the partnership was broken, the English bowlers came hard at the hosts. However, the turning point of the game came in the 94th over for the Innigs.
Mark Wood bowled a short ball, and Shakeel, who was looking to get his century, was at 94. He tried to tickle the ball down the leg-side but got the edge, and the keeper caught the ball. The on-field umpire gave it out.
The decision was sent upstairs to the third umpire. However, the reply wasn't that conclusive, as it looked like the ball bounced at the time and the keeper caught it. But as the on-field umpire gave it out, the third umpire stayed with the same decision.
The ball that ended Saud Shakeel's fantastic innings. #PAKvENG | #UKSePK pic.twitter.com/kssvis9RdH— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 12, 2022
After the loss, the Pakistani skipper Babar Azam highlighted that decision and said that it was against them and cost them the match. He told the reporters, "The Shakeel dismissal cost us. It looked to us as if the ball had touched the ground."
He stated that they thought that it bounced, but because umpire Aleem Dar gave it out, as a cricketer, they moved on with the decision. Meanwhile, the English wicketkeeper, Ollie Pope, had different views on it.
Babar Azam and Ben Stokes have their say on Ollie Pope's catch of Saud Shakeel 🗣https://t.co/56tSH9gofR | #PAKvENG pic.twitter.com/i6IP15l5yK— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) December 12, 2022
He said, "I didn't think it had bounced before. I didn't think it had touched the ground after. When you have gloves on you feel it go in but that's it." English skipper Ben Stokes was very clear that it was a clean catch.