When the term ‘weak link’ is associated with the Pakistan team, it is just a no-brainer to state that it is for their batting. In the years went by, batting has often let down the expectations of the Pakistani fans, and it was the same old tale against New Zealand in their Super 10 fixture at Mohali. By the courtesy of a shambolic batting effort in the middle overs of their chase, Pakistan are on the verge of being eliminated from the tournament.
New Zealand began in style as Martin Guptill continued his rich vein of form. Guptill seems to be in dream form as all his strokes are sourced from the sweetest spot of his willow. Guptill’s 48 ball knock of 80 powered New Zealand to a mammoth 180. Against Pakistan in a T20 game, even 140 is a respectable total as chasing is something which is too overwhelming a task for Pakistan.
Contrary to expectations, Pakistan got off to an absolute flier as Sharjeel Khan went berserk. Khan was dismissed for 47 off 25 and his innings included 9 fours and one six. However, once Khan was dismissed, the Pakistani batsmen failed miserably as common sense seemed to be aspect just alien to the likes of Ahmad Shehzad and Umar Akmal. The duo wanted to play it safe, but playing it safely does not definitely mean making a mess of a rapid start and just blocking your way out. If that is the case with Pakistan, then they need to correct their perception of the format and need to hire a mental conditioning coach.
Players often improve with experience, but Shehzad and Akmal have had a different case. They have become mere liabilities on the team and their performance against New Zealand was nothing short of an embarrassment. Due to the senseless batting by the middle order, Pakistan never looked set going into the latter overs, and New Zealand eventually won the game by a comfortable margin of 22 runs.
Below, are the numbers which depict the misery endured by Pakistan against New Zealand.
0. Pakistan did not hit a single boundary in the last 5 overs of their chase.
66. Pakistan lost the game despite scoring 66 in their powerplay. This is their best powerplay score in World T20’s.
1st. The 65 run opening stand was the first 50+ opening stand for Pakistan in the last 10 T20I’s for them.
41. The 41 runs conceded by Mohammad Aamir were the most he has gone for in a T20I.
39. Shahid Afridi is now the leading wicket taker in World T20’s.