Whenever Pakistan has to bat in the second innings of an ODI match, we lose all realistic hopes of a victory in that match because apparently Pakistani team is not good at chasing targets, especially chasing big targets under lights. However, some people believe that Pakistan has a good record of crossing the line successfully and that the above statement is not correct. To find out, I churned up the stats engine, and here are the results:
From the first look, it seems that indeed Pakistan has a good record of chasing targets as they have batted second in 363 ODI matches since the beginning of time, have won 195 of them and lost 164 with a Win-Loss ratio of 1.18. If we look at matches in which Pakistan had to chase a target under lights, our team has played 142 matches, crossed the line 74 times and failed to do so on 67 occasions at a win-loss ratio of 1.10. On the other hand Pakistan has had to chase in day-only matches 221 times, where they succeeded in 121 matches and failed in 97 at a Win-Loss ratio of 1.24. This is somewhat shocking and impressive. But there is more to this than meets the eye…
If we look above at the matches in which Pakistan had to chase a target of 250+ runs under lights, the pattern is reversed as Pakistan has only ever won 17 matches out of 58 and lost 41 chasing 250 runs or more at a Win-Loss ratio of 0.41. In day-only matches Pakistan has successfully chased a target of 250 or more runs in 21 matches out of 67 and failed to do so 46 times at a slightly better Win-Loss ratio of 0.46.
If we look even further, the last 6 years to be exact, Pakistan’s chasing record begins to decline. Ever since Inzamam-ul-Haq, arguably one of the best batsmen in Pakistan’s cricket history, retired after Pakistan’s horrible performance at the ICC World Cup 2007, Pakistan were given a target to chase in 67 matches out of which they won 36 and lost 31 at a Win-Loss ratio of 1.16. Pakistan had to chase under lights in 52 of these 67 matches, where they succeeded 27 times and failed on 25 occasions at a Win-Loss ratio of 1.08. Moreover, Pakistan has batted second in 15 day-only matches since WC’07, won 9 and lost 6 of them at a Win-Loss ratio of 1.50.
Once again if we look at the matches in which Pakistan had to chase down a target of 250 runs or more since WC’07, they have played 24 day/night matches, won 7 and lost 17 at a Win-Loss ratio of 0.41. Pakistan have been asked to chase 250 or more runs in 5 day-only matches since the 2007 World Cup, and they have lost all of those matches.
Pakistan have successfully chased a target of 300 or more runs only four times. Their highest score in a successful chase is 322 against India in Mohali in November 2007, whereas their lowest score in a successful chase is 66 against New Zealand in Sharjah in April 1986. On the other hand Pakistan’s highest score in an unsuccessful chase is 344 against India in Karachi in March 2004, and the lowest score is 75 against Sri Lanka in Lahore in January 2009.
So to conclude, contrary to popular belief, Pakistan has a fairly good record of chasing down targets even under lights, as long as it is less than 250 runs.
The blog was first published on the defunct KheloPakistan.com.