NEW DELHI: Despite conceding 367 runs to Australia in their ICC World Cup match on Friday, Pakistan’s top order put the team in a position from where it could make a final push to overhaul the big target. But the middle and lower order succumbed to “scoreboard pressure,” feels former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who is also the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Technical Committee.
The Pakistan fielding and bowling let Australia off the hook as David Warner (163) and Mitchell Marsh (121) scored big hundreds and added 259 runs for the opening stand in 33.5 overs.

ICC World Cup: Warner, Marsh help Australia secure win against Pakistan

Pakistan then staged a comeback – first through Shaheen Shah Afridi‘s spell of 5/54 and then by their openers Abdullah Shafique (64) and Imam-ul-Haque (70) in an opening partnership of 134.
But the Pakistan middle and lower order lost way after being in the contest at 232/3 in the 35th over.
“Scoreboad ka pressure,” said Misbah on a talk show on news channel ‘A Sports’.
“Jaise hi run-rate upar jata hai, hum panic karte hain (as soon as the required run-rate goes up, we panic).”

Pakistan lost their last six wickets for 36 runs, a pattern that was also seen in their match against India, where they collapsed for 191 after being comfortably placed at 155/2 batting first.

“Wrong shot-selection…when we need 8 runs or so an ever, then the belief our team gets shaken,” added Misbah, who also pointed at the lack of big hits in Pakistan innings against Australia.
“They hit 19 sixes, and we hit 6…60m boundary (at M Chinnaswamy Stadium). Why are you not taking that risk against balls pitched up?”

Pakistan did manage to pull Australia back a little through Shaheen Shah Afridi’s spell of 5/54 and then continued to launch a comeback with an opening stand of 134 between Abdullah Shafique (64) and Imam-ul-Haque (70).
But it didn’t prove enough in the end.

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