Mohammad Rizwan touches upon ‘opening pair’ controversy after defeat

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Pakistan wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan shared his views on the management splitting his opening pair with Babar Azam after the fourth Twenty20 International against New Zealand at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval.

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New Zealand took a commanding 4-0 lead in the five-match series against Pakistan with a seven-wicket win in the fourth game. Pakistan lost the wicket opener Saim Ayub early as he departed after scoring just one run. 

Pakistan scored 158-5 five in 20 overs as Mohammad Rizwan scored a half-century. His 90-run knock came off 63 balls, including six boundaries and two maximums. 

 

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He scored a 51-run partnership with Babar Azam (19 off 11).

Captain Shaheen Afridi had New Zealand reeling in the chase of the 159-run target by taking three quick wickets. Still, Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Philips took the match away from Pakistan by scoring unbeaten match-winning fifties. 

Daryl Mitchell scored 72 off 44 with seven fours and two sixes to his name. Glenn Philips chipped in with his 52-ball 70 which included five boundaries and three maximums. 

 

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They put on a 139-run partnership as well.

Mohammad Rizwan said the management’s decision to split his opening pair with Babar Azam in T20I has not been a fruitful one and has hurt the side.

“You can say that it [breaking the opening pair] has hurt Pakistan,” Mohammad Rizwan said in the post-match press conference. “I can say that Babar bhai has a big heart. We both agreed that there is no issue. We both told the management that they can try whatever combination they want.

“The difficulty arises when you break things that were already working well. However, management is looking at what can be extracted best from different combinations.”

Related – Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan’s hilarious video goes viral

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