Pakistan aim to become '330-350 team' after World Cup campaign ends

England complete 93-run win in Kolkata on Saturday to finish tournament on a high

Pakistan's Shadab Khan is clean bowled by England's Adil Rashid at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. AFP
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Pakistan team director Mickey Arthur said the team need to take their cricket to the next level after England sent them crashing out of the World Cup with a convincing 93-run defeat in Kolkata on Saturday.

All-rounder Ben Stokes, who came out of ODI retirement for the World Cup, scored 84 while Joe Root hit 60 to lift England to an impressive 337-9 in their 50 overs before Pakistan folded on 244 in 43.3 overs.

Seamer David Willey, who already announced he will retire from international cricket after the World Cup, removed Pakistan openers Abdullah Shafique (nought) and Fakhar Zaman (one) before dismissing Agha Salman for 51 to finish with 3-56.

With Salman's wicket, Willey also completed 100 wickets in his 73rd ODI. Fellow fast bowler Gus Atkinson (2-45) had Babar Azam for 38, caught at short mid-wicket off a miscued pull to end the Pakistan skipper's below-par tournament on 320 runs with four fifties but without a century.

Pakistan struggled against the spin of Adil Rashid (2-55) and it was only some late order hitting by seamer Haris Rauf (35) that added some respectability to the total. In contrast, Pakistan's frontline slow bowlers remained off colour throughout the tournament, even on responsive pitches.

The 1992 champions have now failed to make the semi-finals in five of the last six World Cups, finishing their campaign with their fifth defeat in nine matches against holders England who had already been eliminated.

"We finished fifth, and fifth is where we deserve to finish with the cricket that we've played over the last six weeks," Arthur told reporters at Eden Gardens.

"I think what we've seen, and it's something that we've continually tried to push, is that we're behind the eight ball. Our game needs to go to another level."

Skipper Azam's form with the bat has been mediocre by his standards and the middle order has also been inconsistent.

"Batting-wise, we have to become a 330-350 team," former Australia and Sri Lanka coach Arthur said.

"The teams that are doing that and doing that consistently are the teams that are in the semi-finals. I don't think we've done that consistently enough. We do that when Fakhar Zaman comes off and we can't just be relying on just one player."

Meanwhile, England seamer Willey said he took the decision to quit international cricket with "deep regret".

Willey was the only member of the England ODI squad not offered a central contract last month and subsequently announced his retirement in the middle of England's dismal run in India.

"My time is done because I've called time on it, but it's with deep regret," an emotional Willey told reporters at Eden Gardens.

"I think anybody looking in has probably looked at the way I've gone about my business and probably playing the best cricket of my career.

"I'm 33, and as fit as I've ever been. So, one of the reasons that I wasn't offered a contract was them going in a different direction after the World Cup."

Earlier, Mitchell Marsh blasted his second big century of the World Cup as Australia primed themselves for the semi-finals by cruising to their seventh straight victory with an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh.

Australia lost Travis Head early in their chase of 307 but fellow opener David Warner (53) and Marsh (177 not out) forged a 120-run partnership for the second wicket before the five-time world champions comfortably got home in 44.4 overs.

Updated: November 11, 2023, 7:42 PM