ISLAMABAD - Rain saved Pakistan blushes in the fourth One-day International, as green caps registered a morale boosting victory against all the odds. 

Pakistan team was quite fortunate that rain came to their rescue, as it would be almost impossible for them to chase down the mammoth 262 runs actual target. Rain was a blessing in disguise, as all the main West Indian bowlers had bowled their overs before the rain started and when Pakistan were given revised target of 189 runs in 31 overs. It was job half done, as Pakistan had the liberty of having lost only two wickets. Misbah and Hafeez played well and both were looking sluggish before the rain interval, but both found rhythm and guided the team home.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and especially former chief selector Iqbal Qasim must explain the exclusion of Umar Akmal from the squad as he is a match winner by all means. He had time and again proved his credentials, but he was always given a rough treatment by the board and the selectors. His performances with both willow and gloves was more than exceptional as he had shut big mouths with his match-winning performances and remained instrumental in guiding Pakistan home in the fourth ODI. Umar’s exceptional hitting made victory possible and that too one over before. The selectors must answer why he was not considered for the all important Champions Trophy.

Afridi must have pity on Pakistan cricket team as he is no more than a liability and can’t be picked only for his fielding qualities. He is a big flop with bat, ball, so he must now finally call it a day. Had anyone other had this amount of chances which Afridi enjoyed, he could have justified his selection, but Afridi always managed to blackmail the selectors through his vast fan following, who don’t think with their mind but they just want Afridi in the playing XI, no matter he performs or not. Afridi always put team under extra pressure so he should be given permanent rest and give chance to someone who deserves the most.

Pakistan fielding was once again very sloppy. Umar Akmal could have cost Pakistan dearly, as he dropped a simple Gayle’s catch of the bowling of Wahab Riaz, when he was only at one but thankfully the mistake didn’t cost too much. One thing which is hard to absolve for everyone why Wahab Riaz is still in the playing XI despite getting worst treatment from the West Indian lower middle order too. He was solely responsible for snatching draw by bowling poor last over to No 11 batsman.

Pakistan had exposed all their main secret bowlers, that were the reason even top performer Saeed Ajmal was roughly treated. Misbah must utilize his bowlers accordingly; otherwise, West Indian batsmen will play freely to all the bowlers. Ahmad Shahzad is not performing his due role. Hafeez should open the innings in the last ODI along with Nasir and M Rizwan, the specialist wicketkeeper, should keep the wickets. It will give more freedom to Umar Akmal, who will then fully concentrate on his batting which will also help Pakistan in not only restricting extras but also help in piling up a decent total. Wahab must be dropped and left arm spinner Abdul Rehman should be given chance as he can be a trump card and will strengthen the bowling department.

Misbah must come out of his shell and must make bold decisions. He has to shun defensive approach to win the series as his overcautious approach has already cost Pakistan on number of occasions.

Pakistani batsmen should learn from Samuels, who played exceptionally well and scored runs just because he prolonged his stay at the crease. He waited for the loose deliveries and never lost his composure. The simple secret of scoring runs is to prolong stay at the crease and runs will start to come automatically.

Pakistanis are blessed with so many natural players, who can hit the ball out of park in a matter of time. Pakistan has the luxury of late order hard hitting batsmen but the selectors’ blunders have taken that liberty away. Abdul Razzaq, Sohail Tanveer and even Umar Gul can hit big shots which are required at the depth overs, but now Pakistani batting restricted to number seven and after that Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan and M Irfan can hardly hit with bat so expecting big shots from them is a far cry. The selectors and coach must thing on these lines and try to find a later order batsman, who may hit big shots and provide much-needed depth in the later order.