At the Cricket World Cup 2019, Australia came back to winning ways, narrowly beating a spirited Pakistan by 41 runs in Taunton. Although the late order gave Pakistan a glimmer of hope to pull off an amazing win, the loss of four wickets in a five-over spell was the turning point that kicked off the downhill slide, which ultimately proved their undoing.
After taking control of the chase, Imam-ul-Haq pulled a wide ball onto the leg stump at 136 for two and nine balls later, Mohammad Hafeez hit part-time spinner and captain Aaron Finch straight to Mitchell Starc on the deep square leg. The Pakistan innings were in disarray once the partnership was broken, losing two more wickets to collapse to 160 for six.
Needing 170 runs in 25 overs, Pakistan’s downfall was triggered by the unwanted bravado. At a moment when Australians lost control of the game after Kane Richardson and Glenn Maxwell leaked runs at a quicker rate, Finch was fortunate that his changes paid dividends.
For Hassan Ali and Wahab Riaz one has to feel as their brave knocks brought Pakistan close to the goal, but they couldn’t bring their squad past the line. They waged a hard fight as they knew that the drop of one or two wickets is enough to put an end to their innings. Starc reiterated his action against the West Indies, claiming two wickets in an over. The left arm pacer in the same over dismissed the hazardous Riaz and Mohammad Amir, while he had Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder in one over in the close victory over the West Indies.
Ali and Riaz’s knocks demonstrated that Pakistan could comfortably have won the game against the defending champions with a little effort from the regular batsmen, particularly after defeating the tournament’s favorite team England.
Luck was definitely on Finch’s side today as the Australian captain was dropped twice when he was on 26 and by Captain Sarfaraz Ahmad at 44. It was Finch and centurion David Warner’s opening partnership that allowed the Australians to bring the score past the 300-run mark. An early breakthrough might have helped the Pakistani bowlers put the break on the Australian innings and cut them down to a reduced score.
The 1992 champions came back heavily against England on a favorable note and surprised the hosts after suffering a humiliating loss to the West Indies. So one hopes that in their next match on Sunday, Pakistan will produce a comparable show against India.