Pakistan suffered their 11th straight ODI defeat as their World Cup campaign got off to a nightmarish start against the West Indies at Trent Bridge. Here are our talking points from this CWC clash.
Pakistan undone by pace and bounce
Trent Bridge was expected to be a batting paradise, but Pakistan simply struggled to deal with short and back of a length deliveries here, with more than half their side falling victim to it. Spin was considered to be the Windies’ weak link, but captain Jason Holder didn’t have to even bring Ashley Nurse on as his pacers did all the damage upfront. Oshane Thomas was the pick of the lot, claiming the vital wickets of Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz in his 4/27 spell.
Pakistan were dismissed for just 105 in 21.4 overs- their shortest ever innings in World Cup history, and their second lowest total after the 74 against England in that rain-hit clash in Adelaide back in 1992.
1992 World Cup Deja vu?.
If it’s of any consolation for Pakistan fans, their 1992 World Cup campaign also began with a one-sided loss to the West Indies. Each of Pakistan’s major tournament victories in the modern era (1992 WC, 2009 WT20 and 2017 CT) began with defeats. Perhaps this is not such a bad result at all!
Is Mohammad Amir regaining his mojo?
His form between the Champions Trophy and this World Cup has been nothing to crow about, but Mohammad Amir remains a dangerous customer when on song. All three West Indies wickets were picked up by him, and he was by far Pakistan’s best bowler on show. Will this tournament see him regain his mojo?
Pakistan selections do not pay off
Somewhat surprisingly Pakistan chose to omit Shaheen Shah Afridi, perhaps their best bowler over the last two years, and hard hitting all-rounder Asif Ali. Shoaib Malik was also excluded, although that was not unexpected given the latter’s poor recent form. Only four players went into double digits, and the bowling par Amir, was decidedly pedestrian. Wahab Riaz showed flashes of his ability, but also showcased his inconsistency as Gayle and Pooran launched into him.
What’s worse, Pakistan’s net run rate has been absolutely decimated- they’re now -5.802, and it could have a serious impact on their chances for qualifying for the semis.
West Indies underdogs for this World Cup
The West Indies barely managed to qualify for this World Cup, but laid down a marker here with their fine bowling performance. If they can keep the likes of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell fit, the Windies could very well spring a surprise by qualifying for the last four.