The enigma that is the Pakistan cricket team showed just why they should be considered as one of the favourites for the World Cup crown as the 1992 World Champions recorded their fifth win of the tournament to claim top spot in Group A and with it end Australia's incredible World Cup record at 34-games unbeaten. The last time Australia lost a World Cup game, it was to Pakistan in the 1999 edition of the competition, and while losing is never a happy sign, Australia would look towards the good omens that they went on to clinch the World title that year bouncing back very quickly from that defeat.
On Saturday night in Colombo, Pakistan produced an awe-inspiring performance with the ball, tactically outsmarting the Australian batsmen to knock them over for just 176 runs well inside 50 overs. While the runs were paltry, it was consistent bowling and keeping a tight leash on the runs which created pressure on the batting side, and forced the wickets to come Pakistan's way. The chase was typically tense with Pakistan threatening to throw away all their hard work following a couple of short bursts by Brett Lee, who was unlucky to be on the losing side despite picking up 4 wickets. The two youngsters in the Pakistan team Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal played contrasting innings to help guide their side to a famous win and crucially top spot in the Group, earning them a quarter-final meeting against either England or the West Indies. Australia meanwhile finish third in their group, tied on points with Sri Lanka, but behind on net run rate. They would face either India or the West Indies in their quarter-final, a prize that perhaps neither side would wish to claim when they face off in tomorrow's marquee clash.