Wow. That was fun. And we won! I was nervous for a few moments but in typical Pakistan style they both won it and lost it off their own back. They tried to bowl fast like West Indies but sprayed it too much, dropped catches, and let Australia do well, then they themselves came back to take 10 for 161, then they were doing badly in the chase, then well, then badly, then well, then badly, then they looked half a chance and then were bowled out. It was as if Australia weren’t there. Australia didn’t win – Pakistan lost.
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Five Things We Learned:
(1) Pakistan can be a force
While they lost this match, they looked good doing it, except for when they didn’t. It looked almost like, if they had it to do again, they’d have won it easily. They conspired to find ways to lose.
(2) Mohammad Amir should never have been left out of the squad
When the World Cup squad was first announced Mohammad Amir wasn’t in there, due to bad form, was the official word. Yet the rules allowed arbitrary changes, and Mohammad Amir was one of them. In this match he was head and shoulders ahead of the others. While everyone else was going at 6 runs per over or worse, he was going at 3. While nobody else took more than 2 wickets, he took 5. It was almost like it was Mohammad Amir versus Australia.
(3) David Warner was good after all
Man of the match with a century that was still quite slow by his standards, 107 off 111 balls, and suddenly he’s a good player again. The reality is that he didn’t play badly against India and it wasn’t costing Australia the match at all. He is now 2nd on the run scoring list for this World Cup, just behind Shakib al Hasan.
(4) There’s no need to boo Smith and Warner
After Virat Kohli’s impressive speech, Pakistan’s captain Sarafraz Ahmed said that Pakistanis don’t boo players like that, and they didn’t. Whether he was right that Pakistanis have better moral fibre, or it was Kohli, or what, it didn’t happen in this match and they just went about their business.
(5) Pakistan are still copying 1992
In 1992 it went loss to West Indies – win – washout – loss – loss and then all the rest were wins, and they are well and truly on track for this. They just need to lose their next match, against India, and they are set. Considering that they’ve never beaten India in a World Cup match, there’s a good chance they’ll do that, and then they have to win all of their other matches. The next one after that is South Africa, who are themselves aiming for their own dream run. Not that 5-3-1 is guaranteed to make the semi-finals anyway. But they are on track, and that’s the important part.