Cardiff: Former Pakistan coach Waqar Younis lashed out at England captain Eoin Morgan for blaming the pitch after his team defeated the hosts in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy cricket tournament here.
Chasing a below-par 212, Pakistan on Wednesday rode on a brilliant 118-run opening stand between Azhar Ali (76) and Fakhar Zaman (57) before Babar Azam (38 not out) and Ali helped the team with a 55-run second-wicket partnership to set their date with the winner of the second semi-final between India and Bangladesh, on Sunday.
After bowling the hosts out for 211, thanks to pacer Hasan Ali’s 3/35, Pakistan batsmen never had any problems chasing down the modest total.
Following the loss, Morgan blamed the pitch and said there was no home advantage for England.
“I don’t think there was any home advantage, if that’s what you’re asking. We knew that we were going to play on a used wicket at some stage in this tournament, and certainly we found out the other day that today was going to be on a used wicket,” Morgan said after the match on Wednesday.
“It’s a big frustration because I think we’ve played some great cricket in this tournament so far, and we weren’t anywhere close to it today.
“Having watched the game against Sri Lanka, we actually didn’t think it was that bad,” Morgan added.
Younis, however, defended his team and said Pakistan were clearly the better team on that day.
“Stop giving that lame excuse Eoin Morgan regarding the used pitch. You guys have been thrashed fair n square by Pakistan,” Younis tweeted.
Former captain Inzamam Ul-Haq also backed Pakistan and praised their all-round performance.
“This is what I envisioned for Pakistan, a team that can take up any challenge and fight back like they mean it,” Inzamam Ul-Haq tweeted.
“Cardiff’s air was filled with the chants of #PakistanZindabad today. My heart aches to hear these sounds again in stadiums of my Pakistan!” he further said referring to the fact that Pakistan don’t play their home matches at home but in Dubai.