Super Sixes SRL | AUS vs PAK Evaluation Chart - Babar Azam stars yet again as Pakistan upset applecart
Babar Azam played yet another memorable innings for Pakistan, with his 88 helping his team secure a comfortable 33-run win against in-form Australia. After the majestic performance, the pace bowlers put up a terrific show with the ball as the Aussies were left gasping for breath.
With Babar Azam on the side, you are never alone. A modern-day phenomenon, Azam was at the top of his game once again, showing why he is among the best of the best in world cricket. Opening the batting, he treaded carefully to ensure the run-rate is stable. He was helped by some careful batting by Mohammed Hafeez who negotiated Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins by using all his experience as Pakistan reached an above-par total of 182 runs.
In the SRL history, 183 has been chased, with some balls left in the game, with surgical precision, but to stand a chance against Pakistan, you need pretty runs up front. Australia, losing three wickets within the powerplay, messed up their own chance and after that, it was one-way traffic. Mitchell Marsh put up a mini fightback with David Warner but the result was already written on the wall. A 33-run win is as convincing as it can get.
When you score only seven runs in a three-over period inside the powerplay and can afford to lose a wicket in every over, you push yourself to the mud. Australia did exactly that in front of some fearsome Pakistani bowling display to dig their own hole, and were left to play catch-up. From that point on, they could never really recover.
Highs and Lows
It was the turning point but it was also the high of the game. A pacer, streaming in and delivering high-quality bowling to a reputed batting line-up is the stuff of dreams and boy, did we just see that? Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammed Amir dismissed Aaron Finch and Steve Smith in back-to-back deliveries. Shadab Afridi taking a wicket in the next over was the cherry on the cake for Pakistan.
The 15th Over of the Pakistan innings, which was bowled by Kane Richardson, was the definite low in the game, for it ended their hopes of getting to a big total. Once Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik were out, Azam had to tread cautiously and were eventually dismissed in the 19th Over. Pakistan could never recover from that.
Powerplay exploitation: - Australia 2/10 Pakistan 5/10
After choosing to bat first, which was a rarity in T20 cricket, Pakistan would have hoped Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman to give them a solid beginning but Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc are not your regular opponents. The Aussie duo kept things tight, not letting any freebies, as Pakistan struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking. Zaman’s dismissal in the second over made things trickier for Pakistan as Hafeez took his own sweet time to find his feet in the middle as the Asian team scampered their way to 48/1 in six overs.
For Australia, it was a complete disaster. With four wickets down, that too their major run-scorers of the SRL history, Australia ran out of fuel and could only manage to score 36 runs in the process. That explains the entire thing, doesn’t it? Complete anomaly of their stud display of the yore.
Middle overs manoeuvring - Australia 6.5/10 Pakistan 5.5/10
As the middle over progressed, it was clear that the wicket was not easy for batting but credit must be given to Azam and Hafeez for staying there to negotiate. The run-flow, however, was in check until the 14th Over and Richardson struck twice in the 15th to ensure Australia had the advantage in middle-over exchange. 71 runs all they could manage in the nine-over period. Meh??
Well, Australia managed to get back on track with a decent showing in the middle overs, where they scored 84 runs despite losing their big men along the way. Mitchell Marsh was stoic out there with a surprisingly reticent David Warner and things showed signs of developing. The only silver lining for the Aussies today.
Death Bowling: Australia 3/10 Pakistan 8/10
In hindsight, Australia would rue the death bowling as one of the major reasons behind the loss. After putting Pakistan to a moderate total of 119 in 15 overs, they gave away 63 runs straightaway in the last five, only to ensure a devastating effect in the process. Cummins and Starc were supposed to be the main wrecker in chief but they suffered some heavy pounding.
Such was fate’s affair that Australia left to achieve as many runs as they gave away in the last five overs to win the game, but was that only a dream? Pakistan’s high-quality pacers made it a point to disturb the dynamics, leaving a huge gaping hole for the Aussies. So much so that they were 33-run behind.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Boring
The game might have been a fun one for Pakistani pacers’ display, but from the perspective of the neutral fans, this was as boring as it could get.