Thursday, July 4, 2019

End of the Road for Pakistan, but New Zealand? Really?

The Pakistanis are quite disappointed.

Considering the exciting cricket Pakistan played in this ICC World Cup 2019, and then seeing their chances fade away with New Zealand making the cut for the final four, disappointed is an understatement.

Unfortunately, it is the net run rate and not the level of excitement or entertainment a team brings that decides who goes through.

But even then, New Zealand!?


They were trounced by Pakistan. Thumped by Australia. Destroyed by England. Didn't even play against India.

How can they be the fourth semi finalist?

Apparently that is what happens when you win two games comprehensively, and then ride your luck to win 3 games in the final over.

New Zealand has been a poor team all World Cup. They have played the tournament with 1 batsman and 2 bowlers and 8 passengers.

Yet, here they are, alongside Australia, India, and England, playing the semi finals of the World Cup.

Who knew cricket could be so cruel.

Various conspiracy theories are flying around. India refused to chase against England; England slowed down against New Zealand; New Zealand didn't even try against England; England and New Zealand ensured that the Kiwis' NRR stays in safe territory.

You know what, who cares.

Let us forget about what England, India, New Zealand did.

We have only ourselves to blame.

We should have beaten the West Indies. Or at the very least not lost so heavily. Our NRR never recovered after that defeat, and it is haunting us today.

From the position we were in against Australia, we should have won that game.

The only part where luck went against us was when the rains came down and made us share a point with Sri Lanka, and made New Zealand share a point with India.

That was just gross misfortune.

Pakistan could have beaten Sri Lanka. India would have definitely thrashed New Zealand. And the story would have been very different.

But I guess, it was not meant to be.

Where rain saved us in 1992, it screwed us in 2019.

That is where all the similarities with 1992 end I am afraid.

It was a lot of fun while it lasted though. Pakistan had quite a World Cup.

We beat two of the semifinalists.

We beat the favorites.

We beat South Africa quite easily, but then again, everyone did.

We also had a classic Pakistan-style comeback win against Afghanistan.

It was all quite entertaining, but being entertaining is not enough sadly.

Pakistan even remained in the race for the final four till the very end till England, India, and New Zealand combined to keep us out.

If you look back, it was Sri Lanka's win over England that opened up the World Cup. We would have had 20 odd dead rubbers had England won that day.

So we have Sri Lanka to thank for keeping the World Cup alive. And we have Pakistan to thank for remaining in the race against the Big 3 and their bridesmaid.

Or do we just keep it simple and thank the ICC?

It was fun Pakistan. It was a good fun ride. Very entertaining and exciting. Unfortunate that we are not there in the final four, but such is cricket. Such is life.

There will be more.

There will be another where we will not require favors from other teams.

There will be another where Pakistan will triumph.

There will be another where the only similarity with 1992 that we will talk about will be the eventual champions.

Till then, well played Pakistan!

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