Twenty20 World Cup 2009 June 12, 2009

It's the batting, stupid

Pakistan thew away a golden opportunity to put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup. A target of 151 was better than Pakistan could have imagined once the Sri Lankan Frying Pan and Battering Ram were laying into their opening bowlers.

The recovery from Pakistan's bowlers proved that their mix of speed and spin is capable of helping them succeed in this tournament. And, today, even the fielders managed a decent performance.

Pakistan might worry about the number of extras conceded but it was their batting that lost them this match. Younis Khan is shoring up his team's batting effort and requires more consistent support from his senior colleagues. Misbah-ul Haq, in particular, has failed to live up to his magical Twenty20 reputation, while the rest are too inconsistent in their hitting ability.

All of this could mean that the New Zealand game is ideal to recall Abdul Razzaq. Pakistan require more power hitting, something that Razzaq specialises in. Salman Butt could be the man to lose out since Fawad Alam deserves more of an opportunity and Sohail Tanvir requires more overs to return to match-winning form.

It is a straight knock-out for Pakistan from this point onwards, and the batsmen cannot afford to panic in the way that they did today against an efficient if unspectacular Sri Lankan bowling effort.

Razzaq might be capable of giving the batting the boost that the performance of the bowlers deserves.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here