Pakistan cricket team, after beating England, looked extremely sharp and ready for Australia but their embedded inconsistency has shined through once again.
After winning the toss, Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed elected to bowl first and failed to contain the Australian batting lineup. It eventually cost the team dearly and the Men in Green were beaten comprehensively.
1st Innings: Mohammad Amir Shines Through After David Warner
Following a disappointing opening spell from their premium bowlers, the Australian openers got off to a flying start. Aaron Finch and David Warner put on an opening stand of 146 runs.
Thanks to poor fielding performance, David Warner eventually reached his century before being dismissed by Shaheen Shah Afridi. His opening partner fell prey to Mohammad Amir earlier.
It was Mohammad Amir’s day out as he managed to pull himself back and dust off all the criticism he received prior to his selection for the World Cup. He managed 5 wickets in his 10 overs while giving away only 30 runs.
Amir’s performance was perhaps the only positive note from Pakistan’s perspective as everything else was a complete let-down; dropping catches, misfielding and Sarfaraz’s strange captaincy decisions.
With small contributions from rest of the batting line-up, Australia reached a total of 307 runs from 50 overs.
2nd Innings: Pakistan’s Batting Woes Continue
Failure to chase has been one of Pakistan’s biggest weaknesses as of late in limited overs cricket. Losing early wicket of Fakhar Zaman put all sorts of pressure, which resulted in a nervous beginning to the innings.
Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam both failed to capitalize on their good starts and gifted their wickets away on 53 and 30 respectively. Mohammad Hafeez later joined them after he mishit a full-toss from Aaron Finch, a part-time bowler.
Shoaib Malik, who looked out of form, departed without troubling the score and Asif Ali also failed to adapt to the green pitch and edged it to the keeper.
Hassan Ali came in and hit a couple of sixes which relieved some pressure off of Sarfaraz Ahmed. Unfortunately, Hassan’s cameo ended after 15 balls and he departed having made 32 runs off them.
The pressure shifted on Pakistan once again but Wahab Riaz showed his form with the bat as well and contributed alongside a passive Sarfaraz Ahmed. Wahab took charge and quickly got Pakistan back in the game.
However, it wasn’t meant to be for Pakistan as Mitchell Starc came back into the attack and dismissed Wahab and new incomer Amir in the same over.
Sarfaraz Ahmed refused to take charge of the innings and eventually got run-out to end Pakistan’s hopes of a win.
Where Do Teams Stand?
Australia have now moved to the #2 position with 6 points, level with New Zealand. Pakistan, however, are struggling and sitting on #8 position above South Africa and Afghanistan with 3 points.
Pakistan will now face India in their next match, which was always going to be challenging and even more so after today’s poor display.