pak NZ

Tension in Pakistan camp after New Zealand loss

MOHALI, India: Pakistan’s players have a separate breakfast room at Taj Chandigarh but very few of them visited it on Wednesday morning.

Most of the players kept themselves locked in their rooms, ruing yet another lost opportunity after a 22-run loss against New Zealand in a must-win match on Tuesday night left their chances of making the cut for World Twenty20 semi-finals very bleak.

It was a tense journey back to the hotel from the PCA Stadium from Mohali to Taj Chandigarh on Tuesday night.

Waqar Younis, Pakistan’s head coach, who minced no words when he lashed out at his players by calling them “not good enough” during the post-match press conference, didn’t say much during the bus ride.

“But his body language told the story,” a source told ‘The News’.

According to the source, the team management had summoned the players for a meeting on Wednesday evening.

“The players are expecting a dressing down from Waqar during that meeting. They know that they deserve it,” said the source.

Another source said that while Waqar is unhappy with his entire middle-order that squandered a golden opportunity provided by a gem of an innings from opener Sharjeel Khan, he is particularly miffed with Umar Akmal.

Not one of Waqar’s favourite players, Umar has been publicly questioning the team management’s reluctance to promote him up the batting order.

Umar’s grievance has been that he doesn’t get enough time out there to make a difference.

But on Tuesday the stage was set for Umar, who is supposed to be one of the few power-hitters in Pakistan’s unimpressive batting line-up.

But when Pakistan needed him to fire, Umar produced a match-losing innings of 24 off 26 balls. He failed to hit a single six or four in that knock that began in the ninth over and ended in the 18th.

The next man on the blacklist is opener Ahmed Shehzad, who chipped in with a 32-ball 30.

Ahmed played second fiddle to Sharjeel in a 65-run partnership that came off 33 balls. He lost Khalid Latif (3 off 7 balls) and then failed to find any boundaries in a snail-paced partnership with Umar.

The coach is also fuming over Shoaib Malik’s inability to clear the fence. The senior batsman made 15 off 13 without a single hit to the fence.

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