In Taunton on Wednesday, Australia and Pakistan showed the best of what One Day Cricket has to offer: an ongoing tug of war in which both parties pull things to their advantage to let it slip and then start over. After pulling nearly 95 surpluses and then giving them away, Australia prevailed over a whimsical Pakistan and registered their third victory in the World Cup.
Pakistan showed once again that shallow labels such as "unpredictable" and "enigmatic" hardly begin to describe the men in green. They are nothing more than a handy explanation of the team's tendency to mess up one moment and roar the next. It's a ride. And you have to enjoy it.
Pakistan started in a less ideal way, uneven bowling and miserable cyclocross to allow Australia to build a solid foundation. A 146-run opening partnership between Aaron Finch and David Warner set up the Aussies for a massive score, but the Pakistani pace attack pulled it back and puked Australia off at 307 and ensured that their batters had a chance of fighting. With the bat, Pakistan began on rocky terrain a but consolidated in the middle before a collapse down the lower-middle order threatened to derail the pursuit. An unexpected and explosive cameo from Wahab Riaz gave them hope. And when the victory was in sight, Mitchell Starc pulled him back. Australia won by 41 points, but the margins were closer than the numbers suggest.
Here are the discussion points of the game:
PAKISTAN PULLS IT BACK
Pakistan is a spectrum. They are a series of probable performances that range from total chaos to maddening genius and they fall at will at any given time. They could choose to land on their World Cup opener on the less reputable side of the spectrum and they could choose the other extreme for follow-up against the best ODI side in the world.
Sometimes Pakistan explores that spectrum in the course of a single game. And when they feel adventurous, they do so in a single inning. Against Australia in Taunton on Wednesday, Pakistan went through their entire range of performances, their entire repertoire of the good, the bad and the ugly. Few can switch from the nonsense to the ingenious in such a short time.
After winning the toss and choosing to go bowling first, they had Australian openers Finch and Warner set up a grandstand of 146 runs, while Pakistani bowlers suffered from inconsistency in line, length and rhythm. They were terrible in the field and dropped both Finch (twice!) And Warner. And then, when nobody was watching, they got it back. On the back of a master class by Mohammad Amir and a flood of good second spells from their bowlers, Pakistan gradually got back into the game. Finch left after an excellent 82 out of 84 and Warner hit his 15th ODI ton. But nobody really got past them, largely because of some excellent bowling lanes from Pakistani sailors.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali all came back to put an end to tight spells at the crucial hour and helped Amir, who was consistently brilliant, complete the lower middle order and tail. At one point, Pakistan was staring at a target of around 340. They managed to stop Australia at a very viable 307. The mood had changed and the second turn took place, the momentum was with Pakistan.
AMIR & # 39; S WORLD CUP
Just let bowling well, Amir didn't even have the intention to bow this World Cup. His World Cup selection was under a cloud after a horrible shape after the Champions Trophy 2017.
He failed to make the cut for the 15-man provisional World Cup squadron, but was later included alongside Wahab Riaz and Asif Ali. In 14 ODI & # 39; s since the Champions Trophy final, Amir had taken five wickets with an average of 92.60. He failed to complete his 10 overs quota even once.
But both Pakistan coach Micky Arthur and head picker Inzamam-ul-Haq put their trust in his wonderful talents to participate in major tournaments. "I still think he is an incredibly well-trained bowler and has all the qualities to be successful, he has a great match temperament and we'll see how we use it," had coach Arthur of Amir & # 39; s dip in shape said.
While leaving his miserable shape and the shadow of doubt behind him, Amir is now the topwicket-this World Cup with 10 wickets. On Wednesday, he became the first Pakistani bowler to take a five-wicket distance against Australia in World Cups. Amir was consistent everywhere, leaving Finch and Warner in trouble from the start. He even threw two girls in his first spell. He was the one who experienced the first breakthrough and ended the Finch-Warner position. Australia lost Steve Smith and Maxwell for a low price and Warner left after completing his century, leaving an uncertain middle order with the heavy task of achieving a total of around 340 points. Amir saved the lower-middle order, picked up Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Alex Carey and Mitchell Starc in the deathovers and limited Australia to 307. His bowling figures at the end of the inning were 10-2-30-5. The fifer was also Amir's best bowling figure in ODI's.
THE RETURN OF DAVID WARNER
Amir & # 39; s was not the only story of redemption in Taunton. After being away from the sport for a year, banned from sport in the aftermath of the sandpapergate saga, Warner's return to his old self did not go smoothly. He started this World Cup slowly; he got runs, but he took the time to settle down. His 89 not out of 114 against Afghanistan and 56 out of 84 against India were far from his old self, not just in terms of run rate (those were two of his slowest centuries in ODI & # 39; s), but also control. he just didn't look solid.
Finch had said that Warner needed a "change of mentality" and that "change of mentality" was possible in the toughest conditions. It was not an easy pitch to braid. It was cloudy, the wicket had been under cover for a few days, and Amir came to shoot on all cylinders, but Warner immediately showed grit. He exuberant celebration after his tons showed how much this meant to him. before.
This inning felt like Warner was making a corner. It felt like he could finally leave the saga with the sabotage behind and play with an open mind.
AUSTRALIA MEDICAL ORDER IS WORKING
This is a suboptimal Australian team at the World Cup. The matches against India and Pakistan are evidence of the shallow battle of Australia and have also highlighted their fifth bowler problem. Against India, the Middle Order of Aussie crumbled after the departure of Warner and Smith, falling 36 runs short of the total.
Against Pakistan, Australia looked at a large total after a solid start by Finch and Warner. But when the two openers were sent back and Smith did not fire, the Australian middle order and tail collapsed. They were also saved against the West Indies by improbable exploits of Nathan COulter-Nile. The biggest concern was Glenn Maxwell. He should have been the fearless batter in the batting order, but he has not yet reached this World Cup. He barely had the chance to hit Afghanistan, but in three games since his scores: 0, 28, 20. Alex Carey was the only silver liner in the middle order.
Maxwell also turned out to be expensive with the ball, he gave away 58 of his seven overs and underlined the failing fifth bowler combination. Marcus Stoinis was not available due to an overload on the side and he was replaced by an extra batter in Shaun Marsh. Adam Zampa was dropped in favor of an additional sailor Kane Richardson. But again, the competition showed that Australia is almost exclusively dependent on their strike partnership between Starc and Pat Cummins to see through them.
. (tagsToTranslate) australia (t) Australia versus Pakistan (t) David Warner (t) ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 (t) Mohammed Amir (t) pakistan