Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 November 2019

Fakhar Zaman's horror form continues as rain washes out Pakistan's first T20 in Sydney

Australia were well-placed on 41-0 chasing 119 in 15 overs when the match was called off

Mitchell Starc dismissed Fakhar Zaman first ball in the opening T20 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Getty Images
Mitchell Starc dismissed Fakhar Zaman first ball in the opening T20 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Getty Images

Rain came to Pakistan’s rescue in the first T20 against Australia in Sydney on Sunday.

The match was called off 3.1 overs into the second innings with the Aussies sitting comfortably on 41-0 chasing Pakistan’s total of 107-5 in a match reduced to 15 overs a side.

While there was not a complete match, there was enough to get an idea of what to expect over the coming days in Australia.

The hosts hardly put a foot wrong and didn’t let Pakistan – the No 1 T20 team in the world – take control of the match. Pakistan, meanwhile, have a lot to worry about.

With two T20 matches still to go in the series, we take a look at things learnt from the first match.

Over-reliance on Babar Azam

Pakistan made 107 in 15 overs. That’s just over seven runs an over. Newly appointed captain Babar made an unbeaten 59 of those. He took 38 balls to score his runs, which shows how slowly the others around him batted.

Granted, the first match of a series on quick Australian surfaces against world-class pace bowlers like Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins is a difficult task for any visiting batsman but the inability of the line-up to find the boundary ropes – only four were hit by batsmen other than Babar – is a cause for concern.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 03: Babar Azam of Pakistan bats during game one of the International Twenty20 series between Australia and Pakistan at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 03, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Babar Azam rescued Pakistan once again. Getty Images

Fakhar Zaman’s woeful form

Left-handed opener Fakhar has somehow managed to avoid scrutiny over his dwindling numbers. In T20 cricket, he has failed spectacularly. His golden duck against Starc on Sunday was his second successive zero in T20s and extended his run of poor scores to 11 innings.

The left-handed opener has now been dismissed for single digit scores in his last four outings and has a highest score of 24 in his last 11 efforts.

Wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed paid a huge price for his indifferent form and poor results. Fakhar, who only offers runs as a player, will surely be feeling the heat now.

Power game

Pakistan’s batsmen struggled to clear the big boundary ropes at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Mohammed Rizwan (31) was caught at long-on by Cummins off spinner Ashton Agar, Asif Ali failed to clear mid-wicket against Kane Richardson while Imad Wasim struck Starc straight down to long-on. Even the six Babar hit off Agar just about cleared long-off.

Pakistan’s batsmen will need to either bring a lot more power to their strokes or simply concentrate on fours.

Updated: November 3, 2019 04:30 PM

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