Pakistan World Cup : Repeat of 1992 Win
Pakistan World Cup : Repeat of 1992 Win : Pakistan broke one of a longest losing streak of 11 matches to kick-start their World Cup campaign and how! By putting up an exhilarating batting performance against No.1 ranked ODI team England. Last month, Pakistan seemed to be running out of ideas to stop the Three Lions as their batting bowling effort fell short in losing series 4-0.
Pakistan to be Qualify for the Semi Final?
Pakistan looked down and out after thrashing they received at the hand of West Indies team in their first match of ICC CWC 2019. West Indies continued its dominant record over Team in Green by winning its 8th match of 11 games played. Getting bounced out by a barrage of short bowling, miserable fielding and even batting woes were highlighted in Pakistan’s defeat. However, Pakistan have a chance now to be one of the top four teams as we go ahead even with a victory over England?
After losing to West Indies, it wasn’t overselling to say Pakistan not just won’t make it to semis but crash out miserably. Speculations were high of Pakistan even failing against Bangladesh and Afghanistan given quality of the emerging nation’s bowling. However, the victory over England clearly states that “write off Pakistan team at your peril”. Not just can this team come back strongly but crush favorites as well. Pakistan win over England should not be so surprising given how poorly they start a big tournament.
Past Records favouring Pakistan
In Champions Trophy 2017, Pakistan lost to India by 124 runs in the opening match. After that by the end of the competition Pakistan had gone undefeated. In finals they returned the favor to the then Champions India by crushing them by 180 runs in final. While in 2009 World T-20, Pakistan lost to an average team England by 48 runs but then roared back strongly beating South Africa, Sri Lanka, the two strong side of the tournament in semi-finals and finals to win the trophy in England.
History Repeating Itself?
Pakistan scored the one of the lowest total in World Cup 1992. They were bowled out for 74 and lost to Windies side back then by ten wickets. Once Pakistan started to get wins, their momentum snowballed to give them the first 50 over World Cup win, the only 50 over tournament win for the team.
The past glories apart, the team is fully brimming with talents who can win matches on their own in any given day. Imam Ul Haq since his debut has scored 1387 runs an average of 60. In Babar Azam, they have the fastest player to reach 9 ODI centuries along with Fakhar Zaman who is the fastest player to get to a 1000 runs and has a 200 in ODI. Followed by both comes in ever reliable Mohammad Hafeez with the bat. Shoaib Malik, showed yesterday against England that Old is Gold! It was Hafeez 84 off 62 balls which set the platform for the big score and then by trapping English skipper, Eoin Morgan, with off-spin, the floodgates opened in England’s batting (86-3 and then 118-4 chasing 349) for Pakistan to get the points table moving.
Sarfaraz Khan is a captain who knows how to get best out of resources at disposal with smart tactics. No wonder he has won U-19 WC and also led Pakistan to Champions Trophy victory in 2017.
In recalling veteran Wahab Riaz, they have added variety to its bowling attack. Wahab played his last match in 2017 Champions Trophy. However, good PSL (13 wickets) season along with lack of variety in Pakistan bowling prompted Inzamam Ul Haq to bring back the veteran. Good job, Inzy! Who can forget Riaz’s in swinging yorker to Yuvraj Singh for the first ball duck or barrages of short pitch bowling to Australian skipper Michael Clarke and Shane Watson? Who known if Shane Watson catch had been taken in the deep, could we have seen some other team as Champion? We never know.
Wahab’s Hunger to Prove Himself
However, did you notice, both performances were against eventual World Champions of that edition of World Cup? So he looks like wanting a big stage to perform. He did justify the faith of selectors by picking three crucial wickets of Jonny Bairstow right at the start, and then Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali in the consecutive deliveries of 47th over thereby putting the game back in the lap of Pakistan.
Strong Bowling Line
With Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan who can be lethal with both new ball at start and even in the middle overs. Shadab is a good fielder as well. In Shaheen Afridi, they have the most promising bowler in the World. Tall and fast, he has taken wickets but gone for the plenty. A wicket taker can never be a liability though mainly on the flat-pitches where taking wickets could be the best way to choke the flow of the run. Who knows Afridi could emulate his idol, Wasim Akram !
So while Pakistan lost the last match but Mohammad Amir took 3 top wickets of the opposition his best figures since CT 2017. 35 wickets in 36 games at an average of 39.17 since the comeback isn’t the standard set by the youngest bowler to take 50 Test wicket in history. However, 14 wickets in 5 matches at an average of 92 since CT17 is what skews stats. If anything, the three-wicket burst this could be the catalyst Amir needed to get back in the groove. Moreover, the wicket of Jos Butler, Jofra Archer, in the end, is the Mohammad Amir the World knows and fear.
Pakistan’s Habit of Bouncing Back
Don’t be fooled by 11 losses in 11 matches of Pakistan. One match and in a blink of an eye, you could find Pakistan chasing the big dogs. Can they make it to the semi-final? India, England, Australia are too strong a team to be exciting in the first round. So they would surely make three teams out of 4 semi-finalists.
Net Run Rate To Help Pakistan Reach Semis?
While the battle for the fourth spot could heat up, hence net run rate will come into play. Though it’s not been a factor as of now, yet rain could play spoilsport in the UK with weather changing every hour. If Pakistan could be on the right side of the things, then qualification is possible. They have both good spin bowling and decent medium pacers to do well on varied surfaces in England
World Cup for Pakistan realistically going purely by recent form is far fetched dream. However, the talent they got, and with two games to go, they will back themselves to get hands-on World Cup Trophy for the second time.
Predict and Win: Who will win the World Cup?