Pakistan looked to be in the fight but once the third wicket fell, the victory machine slowed to a crawl
It was an odd game of sorts where neither the winner nor the loser impressed, but Australia was better than Pakistan. Australia’s first wicket partnership of 146 decided much of the match, as Pakistan never really caught the momentum bus in their innings.
Australia reached 307 in 49 overs, and Pakistan reached 266 after 45.4 overs, losing by 41 runs. Pakistan was not good enough and Australia was less not-so-good. Going by current form, Oz looks the weaker of the top four that includes India, England, and New Zealand. The dark horse team isn’t really visible yet, as the big boys dominate.
Briefly, Pakistan looked to be in the fight but once the third wicket fell, the victory machine started to crawl. The tail wagged with Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz, whacking the Australian leather for several fours and sixes which cheered the crowd, but that is because the top didn’t do much.
Such performances are fine for the basement lot, not the “upset-maker” some were calling Pakistan after its victory over England.
Australia’s top and Pakistan’s bottom
Australia’s didn’t look great either. Its first wicket fell for 146 but the next 9 wickets went for only 161 runs, hardly the sign of a class team. The chief wrecker was Amir who took 5/30 with an economy rate of 3.00.
A good performance that came all too late, as Pakistan was unable to reach the total of 307, falling for 266 in only 45.4 overs. Oz opener Warner got a century (107) and fellow opener Finch got 82 -- that totals 189 runs. The rest of the nine players got 118 runs. The Oz were hardly a top-class team minus the two at the top.
Also Read - Straight Bat: Is there life after Bristol?
In fact, Pakistan looked better spread with Imam-ul-Haq scoring 53, Hafeez 46, and the captain Sarfaraz 40. The captain praised the knocks of Hasan Ali who scored 36 and Wahab Riaz who scored 46, but they were more aggressive than in control and that was the difference.
The first 3 wickets went for 136 but the last 7 made only 130 runs. Sarfaraz summed it realistically: “Except for Amir, the other bowlers did not bowl well, 270-80 was a par score. If we want to win, the fop four have to make runs.” The last three were out in 10 balls.
Australian captain Aaron Finch was aware that the winning performance was unconvincing. “They (Pakistan) certainly did run it close. Disappointing we didn’t bat out 50 overs. We ended up 20-30 runs short. But great we still got the two points despite not finishing off.”
Hope the India-New Zealand match is more fun to watch.