Pakistan beat Australia by six wickets in the second of the five-match ODI series on Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to level the series 1-1.
Here are the five things we learned from Pakistan’s victory.
1. Catches win matches (again)
Mohammad Hafeez was dropped on zero by Steven Smith. He went on to make 72. Whether Pakistan would have chased down the total had that catch been taken we may never know, but it surely wouldn’t have been as easy as it was.
2. This bowling attack is here to stay
Junaid Khan is 27, Mohammad Amir is 24, Imad Wasim is 28 and Hasan Ali is 22. This is a quartet that can serve Pakistan for at least five more years.
Judging by the way they have performed in these two matches, the future of Pakistan’s limited-overs bowling is in safe hands.
3. Pakistan’s batting needs to improve
Making a meal of a target of 221 is not acceptable in today’s day and age, especially when you’re 140-1 at one stage. Too many batsmen are too scared of getting out for Pakistan to be able to play ‘modern’ cricket. Not only are they taking too much time to get settled in, but they are also throwing away their wicket when they do so.
4. Asad Shafiq should be nowhere near the ODI side
Must Pakistan continue to run around in circles? The only player in the world slower than Azhar Ali is Asad Shafiq (warning: hyperbole) and we decide to bring him in? He scored 13 runs from 29 balls and then got dismissed on a half-tracker way outside off. He would be nothing but a liability chasing any score close to or over than 300.
5. Pakistan can win this series
Australian batsmen don’t often look this uncomfortable playing at home. The task at hand is simple; dismiss Smith and David Warner early. Also Glenn Maxwell and Mathew Wade. Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head too. Not to mention Usman Khawaja. Then tell the batsmen to stop playing like Pakistani batsmen usually play in Australia. Ok the series might be a bit of a stretch.