Another defeat

Having been outclassed by India in Ahmedabad on October 14, Team Pakistan lost to Australia in Bangalore on Friday

October 22, 2023


Yet another defeat — and again quite humiliating at that. Having been outclassed by India in Ahmedabad on October 14, Team Pakistan lost to Australia in Bangalore on Friday, with the margin of defeat quite healthy, 62 runs. Pakistan’s much-vaunted bowling line, comprising speedsters Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, had no answer to the fireworks set off by Australian openers David Warner and Mitchell Marsh, who scored 163 off 124 balls and 128 off 108 balls respectively, and delivered a 259-run opening stand to help their team amass 367 for 9 in the allotted 50 overs. And the target proved too much for the Babar Azam men who were bundled for 305 in 45.3 overs. The target did seem within reach till the 39th over when Team Pakistan needed 99 runs in 11 overs with six wickets in hand. But then the collapse — and the defeat.

Placed at 5th on the points table with 2 wins from 4 games, the Green Shirts are still in contention for the title. The team, however, stands bruised, with neither the batting nor the bowling clicking. The two victories achieved so far have come against the Netherlands, which is not yet a full ICC member, and Sri Lanka which has no victories from their three games in the ongoing competition. With five more games to go, there is need for the tour management to do some serious dissection of the team performance so far and come up with a different combination — something like getting Muhammad Rizwan to open the innings with Imam-ul Haq or promoting Mohammad Nawaz or Iftikhar Ahmed in the batting order for a cameo. With leg spinner Usama Mir failing to impress, conceding 82 runs in 9 overs for a single wicket against Australia, there is no other option but to bring back Shadab Khan, as Team Pakistan is braced for the Afghan challenge in Chennai tomorrow.

New Zealand and India, meanwhile, top the table — each winning all of their four matches played so far — and are undisputed hot favourites for the title.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2023.

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