Babar Azam was the highest run scorer for the team with 75 off 58 balls while no other batsmen from the second down could touch double figures. Babar was playing at a good pace during first 10 overs but as wickets kept crumbling, he decided to stay their to prolong the innings.
He batted with the strike rate of 129 and hit only one 6 in his 58 ball innings. This brought a lot of criticism and during the post match talk, a few reporters bombarded Babar with sharp criticism of his strike rate.
A reporter asked Babar Azam, “You are batting tremendously. It is not that we are talking about your batting, you are world number one, but in a little T20, it is talked about that the strike rate is less than what really should be but you always score runs?”
Babar wasn’t in best of his mood due to the loss yet he answered, “In the first 10 overs, the strike rate was almost 160. But won’t you try to go 200 when six are out?, I will try to build a partnership there, then this was a little bit in my innings today, but when you have seen my plan, when you do momentum carry, you try it, you take it, not that you break down.”
The breakdown happens when you see wickets falling at the other end or when you can’t strike the ball well, I had this plan that when I had this after 10 overs, I should build a partnership in it because with Shanaka, I had the same plan that we have to go normal for 15 overs. After that we will charge. However, if you see there, wickets kept falling away, that is why my strike rate wasn’t the best. Anyways, throughout the innings I maintained it at 150 so that wasn’t a big problem.”
Unfortunately, Babar’s match saving innings wasn’t enough to save the match. It could have been competitive if his bowlers executed their plans. Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 31 balls 62 and Rassie Van der Dussen scored 29 balls 43 which meant that Islamabad United chased down the score within 16 overs.