Friday, December 30, 2016

Awesome Aussies pull off a Mission Impossible victory!

'Almost chased down 490 in the 4th inns last week and now they lose by an innings after scoring almost 450 in a rain affected Test. Classic Pakistan!' ( Arjun Ashok ji )

The 'classic' referring to the lack of trust one can ever invest in any Pakistani cricketing team. With them revered for their awe-inspiring brilliance and talked up by the associated 'maybe' only to let down those foolhardy enough to invest any faith in them.

This humbling defeat will be remembered for their batting only lasting 53.2 overs on what was still a very true pitch favouring batting. But this was more the gut-wrenching punchline rather than the main theme of a humiliating defeat. One facilitated by their shambolic efforts in the field. The bowling lauded for its potential threat but failing to live up to its billing going into the series. Impacted by dreadful tactics by Captain Misbah ul Huq, his fields defying all logic to the point of undermining his attack and facilitating the Aussie bats. Factor in the litany of no balls and characteristic lapse fielding and herein lies the reason for the defeat.

Focussing on Pakistan pays a disrespect to an Australian team that was truly superlative.

With the highlight being how predatory they were in exploiting Pakistan's frequent lapses in intensity culminating in a miraculous victory.

The 5th day was a master class of sensing an inch and making it a mile with Pakistan going through the motions as if the draw was a fait accompli. The Aussies sniffed out the complacency and exploited it to the hilt, relentless in their quest to set up a victory chance.

Firstly with bat, Captain Steven Smith the mainstay with an unbeaten 163 supported by Mitchell Starc playing a game defining innings of 84 including 7 6's setting up a declaration just shy of Lunch with a lead of 181.

A few early wickets sent both teams going to the break in differing mindsets. The Aussies fully buying into the chance of a miraculous victory and Pakistan pondering the chance of a humbling defeat. It was obvious both mindsets impacted large leading to the batting crumbling amidst the Aussie attack resembling a hungry wolf pack sniffing out a kill. The usual suspects of Hazelwood and Starc were ever present with Starc being the eventual executioner but the under fire off spinner Nathan Lyon was huge.

Ripping the heart out of the Pakistani middle order with three crucial wickets including Asad Shafiq to a brilliant catch by Peter Handscombe at short leg. After this, it was only a matter of time before the humbling defeat became a bitter pill to swallow for the tourists.

Sealed not long after when Starc had Yasir Shah out caught

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