But they did! and how!
They crushed the poor Dutch.
So what worked for them?
1. For starters they got their XI right
Makes me wonder why they didn't pick this team before.
The team that played was the one everyone was talking about. I was, other bloggers were, media was, then what kept the team management from doing it?
I guess we will never know how the Pakistani cricket team functions.
2. They got their batting order spot on
Again this was something I and many others had mentioned, but the team management didn't implement it till today.
Akmal opened and it allowed Malik, Younis, and Misbah to bat at higher positions.
Malik and Younis slowed things down again; in their defence however, they were trying to set things up for the big hitting of Misbah and Afridi.
That six of Nannes will do Afridi a lot of good.
3. The bowling attack looked impressive
Thank heavens Yasir Arafat did not play, and hence did not take the new ball.
Sohail Tanvir swung it around and kept the Dutch in check. He seemed a bit unfit though; why didn't he go off the field after his spell?
Aamer took some stick but its heartening to watch a quick 17 year old bursting into the scene.
So far he's managed a wicket in his first over in both the games he's played. He's a genuine quick and should be persisted with.
The spinners were at their usual best; the Dutch were always going to have trouble against Afridi and Ajmal.
Figures of 4-11 will do a world of good to Afridi. It was top stuff from him and he delivered when it was required.
Boom boomed with the ball!
He needs to be at his best with the ball for the Super 8s.
Despite all this, there are still a lot of concerns, which need to be addressed before taking on the tougher opposition in the Super 8s.
Salman Butt is the biggest problem.
He needs to learn that he's not alone out there when batting; he has partners with him. Push the ball into the gaps and run, you are not a stroke player!
Butt also needs a one-on-one fielding coach. But that the whole team needs really.
Pakistan's fielding will have to be a lot sharper against the likes of Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
And don't forget, they'll be playing IRELAND as well!
Intikhab Alam will have some sleepless nights leading up to that game.
Misbah is another concern that I have. He has come out to bat in the last 5-7 overs of the matches. He is a great striker of the ball, but he needs some time to settle down to be completely effective.
I reckon he should be batting ahead of Younis. Or maybe Younis at 3 followed by Misbah and Malik.
If these things stand corrected, we have a good chance to get into the semi finals.
For now though, lets cherish this victory and thank heavens that we are not joining Australia on the way out.