Pakistan batter Shan Masood has taken responsibility for not finishing his team's innings strongly in the T20 World Cup final against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday. The left-hander said that he and Babar Azam had built a solid platform, but losing wickets dented the team's progress.
Although Masood top-scored with 38 off 28, Pakistan managed only 137 in their allotted 20 overs. Despite Pakistan's pace quartet making life difficult for the English batters, the total proved to be below par. Ben Stokes' unbeaten 52 off 49 took England to a five-wicket win.
Speaking after the game, Masood, who perished in the 17th over, reflected that he and Shadab should have finished better and took responsibility for not doing so. The 33-year-old felt 155-160 would have been a match-winning total on a balanced track.
As quoted by ESPN Cricinfo, he said:
"When Babar and I were batting, we built a very good platform and then lost two wickets. We recovered that with Shadab and myself and then I don't think we finished well and I think me and Shadab hold ourselves accountable for not staying there. Personally, I take blame for it."
"There were stages, especially with the bat where we could have finished the innings really well. I thought that we're aiming for 170,and having looked at how the innings ended, maybe we could have used with a batsman staying until the end and getting us to 155-160, which looked very good on a pitch that did something."
After Pakistan lost the toss, Mohammad Rizwan and Babar made a sluggish start before the former perished for a 14-ball 15. The highest partnership of Pakistan's innings was 39 between Masood and Babar. Sam Curran, who won the Player of the Match award, bagged figures of 4-0-12-3.
"England were very good in those crucial moments" - Shan Masood
Shan Masood lauded the bowlers for giving England a good fight but credited the opposition for faring better under pressure. The Kuwait-born player added:
"With the ball, we were bowling some really really good deliveries, some very good spells, but maybe we also gave a few runs away too many early on which we could have done without. At the end in that crucial period where we lost Shaheen, we could have done with his two overs at the end. England were very good in those crucial moments. I thought they came at us both with the bat and the ball."
Babar Azam and Co. had a memorable run in the tournament, beating top sides like New Zealand and South Africa, but fell short of winning their second World T20 title.