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Mohammad Rizwan in action for Pakistan cricket team© AFP

Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja was extremely critical of the Pakistan cricket team after they went down fighting against New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup 2023 warm-up match. The Babar Azam-led side scored 345 with the help of a century from Mohammed Rizwan and a gritty 80 from the skipper. However, that was not enough as New Zealand were able to chase it down with 6.2 overs to spare. Raja said that Pakistan are getting a habit of losing and pointed out that if the bowlers fail to perform on the big stage, the team will have to score more than 400 runs.

“I know it was just a practice game, but a win is a win. And winning becomes a habit. But I feel Pakistan are now getting a habit of losing. First they lost in Asia Cup, and now here. Pakistan scored 345 and it was a great run-chase. If these are the pitches – and you will get such pitches in India – you will have to score 400 if your bowling keeps misfiring like this. You will have to change your tactics, take risks. And we don’t do that. We play defensively for first 10-15 overs and then shift gears,” he told reporters.

Rachin Ravindra and returning Kane Williamson played key knocks as New Zealand chased down 345 to thrash Pakistan by five wickets in a World Cup warm-up match on Friday.

Chasing 346 for victory, New Zealand lost an early wicket before Ravindra (97) and Williamson (54) put on 137 to put their team on course and they achieved the target with 6.2 overs to spare in Hyderabad.

Mohammed Rizwan hit 103 and Babar Azam made 80 in Pakistan’s 345-5 after electing to bat first but the Kiwi batsmen made the total look easy against an attack missing pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Williamson, who returned from a six-month lay-off due to his knee injury and played the match only as a batsman, looked impressive in his 50-ball stay before he retired out.

(With AFP inputs)

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