Pakistan: the ultimate swingers of world cricket


After Pakistan’s shoddy performance against arch-rivals India, there were few who gave them any chance in the game against the top-ranked South African side on Wednesday. A wounded Pakistan put up a fiery display of pace bowling to snatch the match away in the first 10 overs. The Proteas were so badly hit that they simply couldn’t recover from then on. That reminded me of the nineties when Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis used to dominated proceedings with their toe crushers while playing in England.

Britain Cricket – Pakistan v South Africa – 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Group B – Edgbaston – June 7, 2017 Pakistan’s Hasan Ali celebrates after bowling out South Africa’s Wayne Parnell Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

The opening spell of Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan was accurate and they appeared to be bowling to a plan by not allowing any width to the SA batsmen outside the off-stump. Having survived their opening spell, Amla and de Kock took the spinners too easy and fell trying to play across the line. Such was the firepower unleashed by Pakistani bowlers that South Africa (SA) lost their first four wickets for just 90 runs. Incidentally all these four batsmen are listed in rankings for top 10 ODI batsmen (AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Francois du Plessis and Hashim Amla).

AB de Villiers also managed to score his first ever golden duck in the match when he was caught off the first ball at point. This was de Villiers seventh duck overall. Hasan Ali joined in the fun scalping JP Duminy and Wayne Parnell with unplayable deliveries in the 29th over to vehemently tilt the scales in Pakistan’s favour. It was left to David Miller to rebuild the innings with Chris Morris and K Rabada.

Miller who has an impressive strike rate of 102 in his 97 ODIs was banking on exploiting the Pakistani bowling towards the death overs but he was disappointed. The duo of Amir and Junaid Khan made full use of the old ball bowling reverse swinging yorkers with unnerving accuracy. The quality of the bowling was exceptional to such an extent that even though Miller top scored for his team, this was his slowest fifty in ODIs (50 off 83 balls). Pakistan again proved why they are the best practitioners of swinging the old ball in world cricket.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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