Kolkata, 12 November, 2023 (GNP): In a high-stakes clash at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, England has set a formidable target of 338 for Pakistan, pushing them to the brink of World Cup elimination. Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, England concluded their 50 overs at 337-9, with Ben Stokes showcasing his prowess with a notable 84 runs, possibly in his final one-day international appearance.
The pressure has intensified on Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, who is facing criticism for both his batting and leadership skills. Azam, acknowledging the scrutiny, stated,
“I have not performed the way I should have in the World Cup, that’s why people are saying that I am under pressure.”
Despite being a consistent performer and leader in preceding years, Azam now faces the pivotal task of guiding his team to a significant victory over England to keep their World Cup semifinal hopes alive.
Pakistan’s tournament journey commenced with triumphs over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, instilling hope among fans. However, a challenging phase unfolded as the team faced a four-match losing streak, including defeats against formidable opponents like India and Australia.
The setbacks intensified with subsequent losses to Afghanistan and South Africa, casting a shadow of despair over Pakistan’s prospects in the tournament.
Amidst this turbulent period, the team found a glimmer of hope in Fakhar’s remarkable innings. His unbeaten 126 from 81 balls against New Zealand emerged as a saving grace, keeping Pakistan alive in the competition.
This standout performance not only showcased individual brilliance but also breathed new life into the team’s aspirations, offering a ray of optimism as they navigate the challenges ahead.
As the cricketing world awaits the outcome of this crucial encounter, Azam and his team must deliver a standout performance at Eden Gardens to salvage their World Cup campaign.
The fans and cricket enthusiasts are on the edge of their seats, anticipating a thrilling showdown that will shape Pakistan’s fate in the ongoing World Cup.