Pakistan overcome the panic: 'We thought we'd entertain people a little'

Imam-ul-Haq was frustrated at not being able to see the chase home, but they got there in the end

It should’ve been far more comfortable than it ultimately was but given Pakistan’s records in chases such as the one they faced at Centurion, it is an achievement they eventually overcame two distinct phases of panic after two set partnerships to sneak through.

Chasing 274 in the modern ODI isn’t usually seen as problematic, even accounting for a slightly trickier surface but this chase was only Pakistan’s fifth successful one of a 270-plus target in a decade. That is the same number as Ireland and fewer than every Full Member other than Zimbabwe. Chasing, all of Pakistan knows, is not a strength.

And so, as much as the win, the collapse from 186 for 1 to 203 for 5 and the unnecessary losses of Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan after a steadying partnership, was on the minds of Pakistan post-game. “You know there’s this pandemic bringing everyone down these days and so we thought we’d entertain people a little,” joked Imam-ul-Haq, whose 70 caught the mood of the win: a good enough, but it should’ve been much more.

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