Afridi’s boys crash out of World T20 as Aussies run over PakistanPakistan
There was an uncanny similarity between Pakistan team’s body language against the Australians and the WiFi connection in the media box at the PCA Stadium on Friday afternoon — both were more off than connected.
But while the journalists could write their copy in air-conditioned comfort and wait for the lucky break when they could mail it, the Pakistanis – who lost the toss and asked to field – had no such luxury.
They leaked runs copiously, and when the Aussies ended their innings, Steve Smith’s boys had posted a daunting 193 on board which in the end proved too many for the Greenshirts as they crashed out of the ICC World T20. Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Sami were particularly disastrous, leaking 39 runs and 53 runs; next to them, Afridi’s 27 from four overs seemed like a relief.
Wahab Riaz’s first over was action-packed though. His second ball was dispatched for a six – the first of the innings – by Usman Khwaja, who survived a strong leg-before appeal in the next ball, with umpire Marais Erasmus ruling that the ball was drifting left.
Riaz retaliated by uprooting the Pakistani-born Khwaja’s middle stump. But his celebrations were short-lived; in walked David Warner to smash Riaz to the fence as the pacer conceded 11 runs in that over.
Riaz’s second over — the last of the power play overs — showcased the most bizarre of fielding rarities in a T20: a batsman (in this case Smith), ran four singles with Mohammed Sami chasing the ball for eternity. That indeed was a strange sight on an Indian ground, and was more entertaining than the three that was run in the 14thover.
Though wickets were lost at regular intervals, the Australians never lost sight of the run rate. At the end of six overs, the Australians were 52 for the loss of two wickets, and 79 for two at the end of 10. But they ratcheted up even further to a little under-10 runs an over by innings-end. Head coach Waqar Younis admitted as much in the post-match press conference. “We lost the plot every time we took a wicket. A new batsman would come and start hitting two-three fours immediately.”
Imad Wasim was the most successful with two wickets for 31 runs in his four overs, claiming the wickets of Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell.
The Pakistani reply with the bat was as clueless as their attack. Ahmed Shehzad went into a by-now familiar shell, taking 12 balls to score one run. His departure had no sobering effect on a rampaging Sharjeel Khan at the other end, who, like Don Quixote, saw an enemy knight in every windmill and swung away at everything, without displaying any plan.
Sharjeel lived by the sword and died by the sword, his 30 off 23 balls serving no real purpose. Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik yet again failed to provide any stability, and Khalid Latif consumed 41 deliveries for his 46 which were tad too many given the situation.
Overall it was a sad performance.
AUSTRALIA: U. Khawaja b Wahab21 A. Finch b Imad15 D. Warner b Wahab9 S. Smith not out61 G. Maxwell c Shehzad b Imad30 S. Watson not out44 EXTRAS (LB-8, W-5)13 TOTAL (for four wkts, 20 overs)193 DID NOT BAT: J. Faulkner, P. Nevill, A. Zampa, N. Coulter-Nile, J. Hazlewood. FALL OF WKTS: 1-28, 2-42, 3-57, 4-119. BOWLING: Amir 4-0-39-0; Sami 4-0-53-0; Wahab 4-0-35-2; Afridi 4-0-27-0; Imad 4-0-31-2. PAKISTAN: S. Khan b Faulkner30 A. Shehzad c Coulter-Nile b Hazlewood1 L. Latif b Faulkner46 U. Akmal b Zampa32 S. Afridi st Nevill b Zampa14 S. Malik not out40 I. Wasim c Coulter-Nile b Faulkner0 S. Ahmed c Khawaja b Faulkner2 W. Riaz c Hazlewood b Faulkner0 M. Sami not out4 EXTRAS (B-1, LB-1, W-1)3 TOTAL (for eight wkts, 20 overs)172 DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Amir. FALL OF WKTS: 1-20, 2-40, 3-85, 4-110, 5-147, 6-147 , 7-164, 8-164. RESULT: Australia won by 21 runs. MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: James Faulkner UMPIRES: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Marais Erasmus (South Africa) TV UMPIRE: Richard Illingworth (England) Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)
Group 1 West Indies 3 3 0 0 0 +0.609 6 England 3 2 0 1 0 +0.018 4 South Africa 3 1 0 2 0 +0.485 2 Sri Lanka 2 1 0 1 0 -0.171 2 Afghanistan 3 0 0 3 0 -1.067 0 Group 2 New Zealand 3 3 0 0 0 +1.283 6 Australia 3 2 0 1 0 +0.440 4 India 3 2 0 1 0 -0.546 4 Pakistan 4 1 0 3 0 -0.093 2 Bangladesh 3 0 0 3 0 -1.165 0
Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2016