In their ICC World Cup 2019 match, after losing a couple of early wickets, Pakistan's middle-order looked clueless against short-pitched stuff by West Indies bowlers on a balanced wicket in Nottingham
The second match of the ICC World Cup 2019 turned out to be a big embarrassment for Pakistan as their batting line-up crumbled against West Indies' fast bowlers at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday (May 31).
It was a game between the two most unpredictable teams of World Cup 2019 and while Windies won the match easily and convincingly, it can be easily said the battle of unpredictably was won by Pakistan.
Windies' skipper Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bowl first. Interestingly, Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Khan wasn't too bothered by the outcome of the toss and he was confident about putting runs on the board on the back of their recent experience of playing in Nottingham.
However, it turned out to be a different story altogether as Pakistan were bundled out for just 105 runs in 21.4 overs. It was a terrible display of batting as Pakistani batsmen were caught unprepared for the 'quick and short' bowling tactic used by the Windies, and none of them tried to absorb the pressure in that phase and wait for the ball to get old. They kept playing obnoxious strokes and didn't apply themselves to form a partnership in the middle.
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In reply, Chris Gayle scored a quick fifty and put Windies in a safe and secure position, before getting dismissed by Mohammed Aamir. In the end, Pakistan's total of 105 turned out to be too little as Windies won the match in less than 14 overs and with seven wickets remaining. It was a resounding and thumping win for the Windies in their opening encounter of the World Cup 2019.
Let's have a look at the three biggest learning points from the game.
1. Pakistan's vulnerability against short-pitched bowling
After losing a couple of early wickets, Pakistan's middle-order looked clueless against short-pitched stuff on a balanced wicket in Nottingham. Pakistani batters looked very uncomfortable every time Windies bowled at their bodies, and even the experienced batters like Mohammed Hafeez and Sarfaraz looked out of shape while facing the short stuff.
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This is an area which can be exploited by other teams as well if Pakistan doesn't work out a way to counter it.
2. Windies' bowling attack is underrated
With power hitters like Gayle, Shai Hope, Andre Russell, and others, a lot of focus is always on Windies' batting. However, in the World Cup 2019, it is their bowlers who are looking more dangerous and effective, despite a great show by batters in the warm-up game against New Zealand, in which they score 421 runs.
All the other teams in the tournament must do their homework wholly and carefully before their game against Windies. There is a lot of variety, experience, and firepower in their bowling department and they can surprise any batting line-up on a given day.
3. Losing more than one wicket in the first 10 overs can be disastrous
On fast pitches and under overcast conditions, openers need to bat very carefully and negotiate the new ball even if it means scoring less than three runs per over. It is critical that teams don't expose their middle-order batters against the new ball as, just like Pakistan, they can fall like a pack of cards, more often than not, in the World Cup 2019.
Last Updated 12:11 AM IST