Misbah-ul-Haq declares Do or Die time for Pakistan
Pakistan’s World Cup campaign needed improvement across the board, captain Misbah-ul-Haq declared after a humiliating 150-run loss to the West Indies on Today.
The rout at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval was compounded by a batting display that set a record for the worst start to a one-day international innings, with Pakistan’s first four wickets falling for just one run.
Pakistan now languish at the bottom of Pool B with two losses from two outings, their performance against the West Indies a step backwards from the 76-run loss to arch-rivals and defending champions India in their tournament opener.
“It’s a do or die situation for us and there are no ifs and buts,” Misbah said as he tried to look ahead to Pakistan’s next game against Zimbabwe, while sifting through the wreckage of Saturday’s crushing loss.
“We just lost in all three departments,” Misbah admitted. “We couldn’t bowl well, a lot of dropped catches, and the batting totally flopped.”
After electing to bowl first, Pakistan took two early wickets, including the out-of-form Chris Gayle and were still in a relatively strong position when the West Indies were 194 for four going into the final 10 overs.
But they could not contain a late onslaught from Andre Russell, who hit an unbeaten 42 off 17 balls and Lendl Simmons with 50 off 46 as the West Indies reached 310 for six.
Pakistan, who won the World Cup the last time the tournament was staged in Australia and New Zealand in 1992, immediately collapsed in their run chase.
After the first four wickets fell quickly, they were five for 25 after 10 overs and eventually all out for 160 in exactly 39 overs.
“We need to pick up ourselves up and come hard in the next game because now we’re at the edge,” Misbah said.
“We have to forget the last two matches and learn from our mistakes. We can only win if we perform.”
Misbah said Pakistan’s problems against the West Indies began from the moment he won the toss and opted to use bowler-friendly conditions, with overcast skies and a hint of moisture on the pitch.
“But we couldn’t take enough wickets up front. We only took one or two. We could have done better than that.”
There were also difficulties in getting the batting-bowling balance right, with proven match-winner Saeed Ajmal pulling out of the squad because of his disputed spin-bowling action.
“The batting is already not scoring much. To go with six batters and five proper bowlers, that really is a tricky situation for us,” the skipper added.
“That’s why we are going with seven batters but at the moment nothing is working,” Misbah said.
“At the end of the day as a bowler, as a fielder, as a batsman, you have to go out there in the middle and perform. That’s what we are not doing at the moment.”
“There is no blame game. As a team, as players, we need to pick ourselves up and we need to perform, that’s the only way.”