Ashraf Ali Siddiqui is disappointed at the dismal performance of the Pakistani cricket team
Losing Against England – It was expected that the Pakistani cricket team would perform better as it was considered to be in better form and had gelled into a competent side with new talent getting valuable experience. Pakistani team fought eagerly and came close in winning the fourth and fifth matches against an England side visiting the country for the first time in 17 years raising hopes that the last two games would prove to be electric.
It was very obvious that Pakistan had defended low scores in consecutive matches to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead but the hopes were dashed as the English side hit back ruthlessly tearing apart Pakistan’s much-vaunted bowling attack in the final two matches to clinch the series. The crowds anticipating a Pakistan victory were greatly disappointed particularly after a promising start made by the Pakistan team.
In what was an anticlimactic finale at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday, England defeated Pakistan by 67 runs to clinch the seven-match series 4-3. And even though the fixture saw full 40 overs, the game was anything but competitive soon after the halfway mark as the hosts buckled under the pressure of having to chase a gargantuan 210 runs. As it usually happens, all hope was lost as soon as Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan vanished early and within a span of three deliveries. From that point on, the rest of the batters were merely chasing consolation as all intent to even attempt to get near the target was replaced by piling up garbage runs that did not help the cause.
Star Players In Losing Against England
Shan Masood top scored with a 43-ball 56 but it served no purpose as Pakistan managed to muster a mere 142 for the loss of eight wickets by the end of their allotted 20 overs. Earlier, after being invited to bat first by Babar Azam, England finished with 209-3. Star of the show for England was Dawid Malan, who smashed an unbeaten 78 off 47 to power the tourists to 209-3.
He was aided by Harry Brook in the second half of the innings. The right-handed batter contributed a 29-ball 46 and also remained not out. Also coming to England’s aid were Pakistan fielders who generously dropped at least three catches. The biggest culprit was the skipper himself, who dropped two, with Mohammad Wasim grassing the third.
The way the England team strolled to victories in the last two matches exposed brutally how Pakistan are yet to address their middle order issues which have plagued them since the Asia Cup. The series — England’s first tour of Pakistan for 17 years — is tied at 3-3 with the visitors winning the first, third and sixth games. Luckily for Pakistan, they have a tri-nation series in New Zealand — against the hosts and Bangladesh — which gives them an opportunity to iron out those issues. Failure to address them will see them head to Australia for the World Cup on very shaky ground. The Weekender