Asif Ali missed a couple of crucial chances against Australia which proved to be really costly for Pakistan during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash between the two sides at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton on Wednesday. The Pakistan cricketer initially fluffed an easy catch of Australian skipper Aaron Finch at slips off the bowling of Wahab Riaz and then popped out another sitter of his opening partner David Warner at third man later on to let his team down during their first innings against the defending champions.
It all started on the fourth ball of the 13th over when Aaron Finch got a thickish outside edge off a Wahab Riaz delivery which flew to Asif Ali at first slip. Asif however failed to grab it and the ball popped out of his hard hands and rolled down all the way to the boundary to add insult to injury. Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and the other Pakistan fielders weren’t happy at all as what should have been a wicket for Pakistan ended up being a boundary. The miss proved to be really costly for Pakistan as Finch who was batting on 26 at that time ended up scoring 82 off 84 balls with the help of six fours and four sixes.
The horror show from Asif Ali on the field didn’t just end there as he once again dropped a sitter in the 37th over, this time of Finch’s opening partner David Warner, in the third man region. The southpaw went for the upper cut but could only manage to slice it off the outside edge off the bat which flew straight to Asif Ali at third man. It was a straightforward chance and everyone expected it to be a simple catch but he failed to grab it once again, leaving every Pakistani supporter in the stadium disheartened. Warner, who was batting at 104 at that moment couldn’t do much damage as he was dismissed by Shaheen Shah Afridi for 107 in the very next over.
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The highlight of the day however was the reaction of a Pakistani fan in the stands after Asif Ali had missed his second sitter of the game. The fan looked utterly disappointed to start with and the anguish on his face was captured perfectly on camera. The fan became an instant sensation following his passion for the game and photos and videos of him have been going viral across various social media platforms. Even the official twitter handle of the International Cricket Council (ICC) could not resist themselves from sharing his image. Pakistani Sports Journalist Zainab Abbas later tracked him down for a brief question-answer session.
Mohammad Amir however came to Pakistan’s aid with a breathtaking spell to restrict the defending champions from posting a gigantic total on the board. The seamer, who was not picked in Pakistan’s initial World Cup squad, completed his fifer and gave away just 30 runs in his 10-over quota. After breaking the 146-run opening stand between Finch and Warner, the Pakistani seamer stood up to his skipper’s expectations when the responsibility was handed to him. Amir picked the crucial wickets of Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Alex Carey, and Mitchell Starc as Australia were bundled out for 307 in 49 overs.