Pakistan had a torrid time in the field against Australia in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Asif Ali dropped Aaron Finch and the Australian skipper made Pakistan pay by blasting his 23rd fifty. The same fielder also dropped David Warner when he was on 104 but that did not prove costly as the left-hander perished for 107. Pakistan’s fielding lapses proved to be costly and despite Mohammad Amir’s 5/30 which restricted Australia to 307, Pakistan was undone by better fielding from Australia and they lost by 41 runs. For Pakistan, their fielding woes against Australia was a sense of deja-vu. In the 2015 quarterfinal in Adelaide, Rahat Ali dropped Shane Watson off Wahab Riaz and Pakistan squandered their chance of reaching the semi-final.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed said the team has to improve fielding if they are to match India in their upcoming high-voltage clash against India in Manchester on June 16. “We made too many mistakes in all departments. I'm very disappointed with our fielding, it is not up to the mark or standard expected. We will have to work hard to improve on this before we play India, there can be no excuse,” Sarfaraz said.
However, there was one major positive for Pakistan against Australia. Mohammad Amir picked up his first five-wicket haul and was key in Australia losing eight wickets for 84 runs. It was Amir who produced his brilliance during the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final when he took Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan’s wickets to help Pakistan beat India and win the tournament for the first time. Sarfaraz said Amir was a big positive for the side.
“If you take a positive from this match it is how Mohammad is bowling for us that is a big thing to take into our next matches. He's a world-class bowler. When he's swinging it, it's very difficult to try to get on top of him. Then when it's seaming and swinging, it's even harder,” Sarfaraz said.
Pakistan will take on India in the high-voltage clash in Manchester on June 16 while Australia will take on Sri Lanka at The Oval on June 15.