Sarfraz Ahmed
Sarfraz Ahmed (AFP Photo)

Pakistan have been drawing praises for their improved fitness levels and rising fielding standards. However, on Sunday night, sloppiness in the field cost them dearly as they were thrashed by India in a crucial Super Four clash of the Asia Cup 2018.

Rohit Sharma was given life twice once on 14 and then on 81 as he went on to score an unbeaten century. The first time, the culprit was Imam-ul-Haq at extra cover during the sixth over and the second time, it was his opening partner Fakhar Zaman at short-midwicket.

Rohit’s 111 not out after Shikhar Dhawan’s 114 powered India’s chase as they hunted down 238 in 39.3 overs with nine wickets remaining.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed pointed had the fielders held on to the catches, the result could have been different. “We were around 20-30 runs short and the dropped catches made life difficult for us. Had we taken those catches, it would have been close,” Sarfaraz said at the post-match presentation.

When quizzed over the reason behind the fielding mistakes, Sarfaraz said, “We’ve been working hard on our fielding but I am not sure where we are going wrong then. Had we taken early wickets, the chase would have become difficult.”

He praised the Indian batsmen saying there was a clear distinction in the skill levels of the two sides. “India have exhibited better skills than us. We have to work hard on ourselves and get there. We have a do-or-die situation in our next game and hopefully we’ll do our best,” he said.