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Pakistan gets away with more dropped catches at World Cup

By FOSTER NIUMATAJune 23, 2019
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Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez takesa catch to dismiss South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen during their Cricket World Cup match between Pakistan and South Africa at Lord's cricket ground in London, Sunday, June 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez takesa catch to dismiss South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen during their Cricket World Cup match between Pakistan and South Africa at Lord's cricket ground in London, Sunday, June 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

LONDON (AP) — In reviewing Pakistan’s vital stand-and-deliver win over South Africa at Lord’s, coach Mickey Arthur ran down his team’s basics.

Batting ... excellent.

Bowling ... great.

Fielding ... oops.

Pakistan dispatched South Africa by 49 runs on Sunday to stay in contention for the Cricket World Cup semifinals, but the brilliance of the effort was tarnished by butterfingers in the field.

Six chances were grassed. It’s been a weakness of Pakistan’s throughout the tournament.

Arthur was frustrated.

“We train and we train and we train, and we’ve put in massive amounts of work (fielding),” he said. “That’s something we’ll be exploring again in the next couple of days because we can’t be dropping that many catches and expect to beat teams getting into almost a knockout phase for us.”

Among the dropped catches, South Africa opener Quinton de Kock was let off before he scored. He made 47.

Perhaps the worst was the 37th over, bowled by Wahab Riaz, who suffered two consecutive drops. Wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed dropped Rassie van der Dussen on 23, then Mohammad Amir spilled David Miller on 20 on the boundary. The batsmen were eventually out for 36 and 31 respectively.

Amir had already dropped a caught-and-bowled chance off Miller when his elbow hit the ground and jolted the ball from his grasp.

Fortunately, Pakistan was too in control for the errors to have a crucial effect. But Arthur wasn’t happy with that part of the game.

“We’re going to have to keep working at (catching) and keep chipping at (it),” he said.

“I thought we got our bowling and batting spot on. Our problem is we haven’t put three disciplines together yet in any game. When we put three disciplines together, we’ll be exceptional. The closest we’ve got was when we beat England.”

The worst drop against England helped Joe Root on 9. He went on to 107, but Pakistan prevailed by 14 runs.

Next up is unbeaten New Zealand on Wednesday in Birmingham.

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