The fifth day of the ICC World T20 will see Netherlands play Pakistan at
Lords, in the first game of the day. And almost unexpectedly, the future in the
tournament of the teams from this group hinges on the result of this game.
If Netherland continue with their giant-killing ways and do manage to beat Pakistan,
then they will join England in the second round of the tournament, and
Pakistan will get knocked out. However, in the more likely scenario of Pakistan
getting the better of Holland, it will mean that all three teams in the group
will end with one win each and it could boil down to the net run-rate. The Dutch's
win against England had been as narrow as it could get; having scored the winning
runs off the last delivery of the game, where as Pakistan's loss was rather expansive
48-run defeat. This means that, for Pakistan to qualify into the Super Eights,
it will need a big enough win over Holland!
Pakistan's bowling against Holland will need to improve by leaps and bounds if
they have to ensure that qualification. Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi
did pull it back a little for the Pakistanis in the middle over with their bowling,
but by then the damage had already been done, and even the spinners went for some.
It is the new ball bowling that will be a worry for the Pakistanis, after having
had trouble in both the games, the one against India and now, versus England.
Sohail Tanvir has looked like a pale shadow of himself, where as Mohammad Aamer
is a virtual greenhorn in the side. With Umar Gul being assigned the role
of a middle/slog overs-bowler, it has caused a lot of heartache for the Pakistani
think-tank which looks to be bereft of bowling ideas.
And it is not as if their batting has been doing too well either. Barring Ahmed
Shehzad's blistering knock in the warm-up game against India and Younis Khan's
unbeaten knock in the England-game, their batting hasn't had much to offer by
the way of fight-back. Pakistan could do well with Salman Butt batting
very much like what he had in the last couple of years as an in-form batsman,
but the problem that he may face is that the bowlers have sorted him out on the
off-side, and his leg-side play to the really well-bowled short deliveries isn't
too much to write home about. Luckily, the Dutch do not possess bowlers who can
exploit this particular chink in his armor.
For the Dutch, they will need to restrict the Pakistanis to a total that, if they
will not be able to chase, will allow them to get close enough for them to qualify
despite losing the game. Their bowling needs to stick to the lines and lengths,
while the batting needs to come out all guns blazing rather than wait for things