If Pakistan had played the second innings of their match against Zimbabwe 100 times, they would have expected to have won the game at least 95 of them.
But they didn’t.
There was another failure from the highly-rated opening duo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, who seem to have lost form at just the wrong time.
For the second match running the very capable Shan Mahsood top-scored for them and appeared to be getting Pakistan home.
But he got out at just the wrong time, stumped off a wide ball, and they were always up against it after that.
All-rounder Mohammad Nawaz then looked like he might be Pakistan’s hero with the bat when he got to 22. But he also buckled under the pressure and was out with just one ball left.
And with Shaheen Shah Afridi on strike to face his first ball, he managed just one when they needed two for the tie and three for the win.
So plenty for Pakistan’s batters to answer for. But at least their bowlers look in decent form.
Mohammad Wasim took four wickets and was extremely economical and Shadab Khan was almost as good with three.
That loss was one that looks like it will really hurt them.
Their best bet is to hope that India beat South Africa and that they then play and beat South Africa themselves.
But even then, they’ll need to improve their net run rate drastically because of how easily SA beat Bangladesh.
The (only) good news is that because they lost both their matches by just one run their current net run rate isn’t bad but they’ll already have to think about winning this one comfortably if they’re to have any chance of progressing.
Azam, Rizwan, Masood, Ahmed, Khan, Nawaz, H Ali, Wasim, Afridi, Rauf, Shah.
Netherlands Recent Form
The Netherlands are finding that beating Associate nations in the first round of the World Cup is one thing but that playing the very best in the world is quite another.
They missed a good chance to beat Bangladesh but were quite frankly, torn apart by a good Indian side.
They conceded 179 and came nowhere near chasing that, falling 56 runs short.
That their top-scorer Tim Pringle managed just 20 runs tells you all you need to know about what a struggle it was for them against the very best bowlers in the game.
Still, it’s worth remembering that these Dutch players are at best county pros in England and aren’t expected to be winning games such as these.
Roelof van der Merwe, one of those county pros, is still out injured and they miss his accurate spin bowling and sharp fielding.
Singh, O’Dowd, de Leede, Ackerman, Cooper, Edwards, Pringle, van Beek, Ahmad, Klaassen, van Meekren.
Pakistan vs Netherlands Head-to-Head
These two have only ever played each other once and that was back in 2009 at the World Cup in England.
Pakistan posted 175 batting first and the Netherlands were all out for 93.
Venue & conditions
Thankfully the forecast is good for Perth on Sunday. At last.
We’ve already had four no results that have threatened to ruin the enjoyment of the World Cup. So it will be nice to not only have a match without rain but also one without the worry of rain.
Perth has been a tough wicket so far for all batsmen.
But Pakistan should finally have a good day with the at the third time of asking and should be able to get around 165 batting first.
If it’s the Netherlands going first, they may struggle to get past 135.
So it could be a good betting option to go with them to get less than that on the first innings runs line.