It was just a couple of days back that England beat Pakistan by 6 wickets after they had a successful run chase of 148. Yesterday, Pakistan had a close encounter against New Zealand which Pakistan lost by a margin of just 1 run. According to me, this match is one of the foolish way to lose a match with top batsmen in their side. New Zealand were never in the race for victory and on the other hand, Pakistan never had problems evident from the match. All that Pakistan lacked was a good game planning for which they paid the price.
There was no superb or an outstanding batting performance from the Kiwi batsmen. The highest score by a New Zealand batsman was 38 which was scored by the captain Daniel Vettori at number 5. usually, in any game, 4 bowlers bowl their quota of four overs but yesterday, four of the Pakistani bowlers were found bowling just three overs. I wish the reason for such a decision was that like Australia, New Zealand are also bad players of spin bowling and keeping that in mind, Shahid Afridi used Saeed Ajmal and himself to the maximum extent, bowling their complete quota of four overs.
But, wih the batsmen struggling, it would not have been a bad decision had Afridi gone in for fast bowlers as well. Even Mohammad Asif and others could have made much of the Kiwi batsmen. Whatever, keeping in mind the total of 133 which Pakistan could not chase, Afridi's decision might not go applauded. If not for Salman Butt, no other batsman from Pakistan showed any sort of courage. Salman Butt stayed at the crease despite 7 wickets falling from the other end. I wish Pakistan needs to be taught that cricket is a team sport unlike badminton and tennis.
Hats-off to the Kiwi bowlers who did not lose their rhythm despite showing a dismal performance with their bat. Once they came to know that they had a chance of winning the game, the Kiwi fielders and bowlers didn't leave any stone unturned. At the same time, the Pakistan team kept on losing wickets one after the other as mentioned. Ian Butler stands apart in his bowling which had an over maiden along with three batsmen to his credit. That was the over which made the difference. But, with the pitch hardly assisting the batsmen, it would not have been a bad choice had Butt been jointly awarded the man of the match.