Aussies outplay Pak

Written by: Syed Saba Karim
Published: Saturday, February 5, 2000, 0:00 [IST]
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Australia decimated Pakistan in every department of the game. A miserable tour for Pakistan came to an end when at the SCG they were convincingly beaten on Friday. Right from the start it looked that Australia was in no mood to play the third Final. They wanted to end the matter at the SCG and they accomplished it in great style. What a fantastic season Australian cricketers have enjoyed. Right through the summer they have played aggressive cricket-- to WIN has been their motto. To achieve this their attitude has always been result oriented, hence praiseworthy. Steve Waugh has led the side brilliantly and his colleagues have supported him to the full. During a crisis, all of them have responded to the clarion call of the Captain and displayed great character in warding off the opposition. They have dug deep and forged ahead backed by their own ability to have emerged with astounding results.

The second final was the last chance for Pakistan to regroup themselves. Pakistan has always shown immense self belief and fighting spirit in such situations but today Australia remorselessly piled on the agony. Pakistan did not show any courage and played the match in a very subdued manner not even once displaying their customary fighting zeal.

One dropped catch changed the whole complexion of the game. The Australians never looked back after that, whereas Pakistan's fielding deteriorated to abysmal level. To say the least, it was atrocious. Never before have they displayed such shoddy fielding. There were misfieldings and overthrows galore, not to mention couple of chances that went abegging. Gilchrist made full use of the dropped chance. He played a remarkable innings and gave the kind of start the Aussies were looking for. He chose the right occasion to display his repertoire of shots. Pakistan's bowling wilted under the sustained aggression of the Australian batters. Mark Waugh again showed great temperament by letting Gilchrist take strike as much as possible as the latter was in superb touch. There was a time when Australia's win or fortune depended heavily on Mark Waugh's batting, but he as well as the Australian side have realized that there are other strokemakers in the side who can do the job. As a result when the Gilchrist's and Ponting's are blazing away, he is content with singles and when the need arises he easily resorts to his usual flamboyance.

Ponting is another player who has come of age. He was masterly in his approach. He is probably one of the best exponent of pull shot. Whenever the Pakistanis erred in length, he pulled or cut with utter disdain. Andrew Symonds run-a-ball knock, healthy contribution from Steve Waugh and Damien Martyn in the end resulted in Australia reaching their highest ever one day score. A remarkable achievement for a side which did justice to the label of the best one day side.

The pressure of playing in front of a full house proved too much for the Pakistanis. They caved in meekly and even though they maintained a healthy run rate, the top order collapse ensured that the stronghold of Australia on the Carlton & United Trophy was never in doubt. To reach such a mammoth target was too tough an ask for Pakistan whose batsmen have not come to terms with the bounce and lateral movement of the Aussie wicket. Their inept batting once again made the task of the Australian bowlers very easy. McGrath came out on top. He certainly is one of the most feared bowlers in International cricket. To see him bowl is a lesson on fast and accurate seam bowling. His contribution to this great Australian side is unparallel.

As the series progressed, the Australians intensified the pressure and the gap between Australia and India/ Pakistan became very huge. The baggy green dominance was complete. Only the brave could survive the onslaught, unfortunately cloaks of armor and hearts of steel was left behind by India and Pakistan.

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